Cabbies caught cruising down bus lanes are getting ticketed after being recorded on video, the first camera-aided crackdown in the city’s crusade to speed up bus travel.
The city Taxi and Limousine Commission mailed out its first batch of 30 tickets to hacks last week and 120 more are in the works, according to agency records. Offenders who dispute the $150 fines will begin having hearings next month, a TLC spokesman said.
“The cameras allow us to deter violations with limited personnel,” TLC Commissioner David Yassky said.
The city Department of Transportation installed a camera at 34th Street and Park Avenue last year to catch those illegally cruising down the red-painted lanes, which can only be used for right turns or to drop of riders. Only 11 tickets were mailed out last year while officials were getting the “protocol up and running,” a TLC spokesman said.
Cabbies weren’t happy about the ticket blitz.
“I wish there were other ways for the city to find money other than consistently targeting drivers who work for a living,” said David Pollock, editor of “Taxi Insider,” a trade publication.
Officials are trying to speed up city buses, which are some of the slowest in the nation. More than 31,000 straphangers ride buses along 34th Street on 30 different routes, according to the DOT. Albany recently gave the city the OK to install cameras along five additional bus routes.
The city doesn’t have the authority to give out tickets to private vehicles using cameras, but the TLC can under its own rules.