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Cameras Keep Watch Over Manhattan Bus Lanes

NEW YORK (CBS New York) – If you’re caught driving in the new special bus lanes on Manhattan’s 1st and 2nd Avenues expect to pay dearly.

The bus lanes are clearly marked but as CBS 2 HD’s Derricke Dennis reports the lanes are now also being monitored by video cameras.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

“It’s a huge problem and, I think you could say it’s an age-old problem,” says MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin.

The M15 Select Bus Service uses streetside kiosks to dispense tickets, which much be purchased before boarding.

If you’re caught on camera in a bus lane during restricted hours, you can be fined by mail for between $115 and $150. You’re also not allowed to off-load anything in the lanes during posted hours.

LINK: Details from the MTA

You can, however, drop off or pick up a passenger by the curb if there’s no alternative (like around the corner), but you have to be fast.

If you need to make a right turn by using a bus lane, you’re allowed anywhere along the block from which you’re turning. Just don’t stay in the lane.

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the cameras are watching.

“I think they will be a deterrent for drivers,” says Kelly. “It’s a pretty hefty summons and I believe the system is going to work.”

Drivers are simply going to have to adjust to the new reality and, in the end, traffic should move faster and better, speeding up travel by an estimated 15 minutes in some cases.

The MTA says the city’s 2.8 million bus riders deserve an unimpeded ride.

“We’re starting this small right now,” says MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin. “We have the ability to use the cameras on select bus routes. But the hope is when people see how effective it is, we’ll be able to spread it to the whole system.”

This may take some getting used to and a couple of New York lawmakers want to help.

A news conference will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the corner of 1st Avenue and East 14th Street to go over the new guidelines.

More from Stan Brooks In Memoriam
  • wordleaf

    Cameras work in other situations they should work here too. I’m all for it.

  • WD

    They’re enforcing laws as well as they can. I’m glad they’re taking steps to make sure people drive legally.

  • chelsea

    Great idea. The use of technology in helping enforce traffic laws is a great idea. Anything to help keep the streets safer is a good idea.

  • Jeff P

    So be it. I don’t want the buses in my lane so we shouldn’t be in theirs. If the cameras have been effected in curbing other moving violations then they should be great in preventing this.

  • b4mets

    Cameras have proven very effective across the country at stopping reckless drivers from running red lights so they should prove very effective at keeping drivers out of the bus lanes, and will do it far more effectively and efficiently than cops on our streets ever could.

  • love nyc

    So glad to hear that cameras will be watching the bus lanes. NYC is such a busy city anyway… we dont need people thinking they own the roads and can drive wherever they please. Buses are on a tight schedule, and we need the people driving the cars to be cited if they are driving in the bus lane.

  • Jessica

    That is the ultimate truth- Who wants to drive behind a bus anyway?! haha

  • Cashlyn

    Wow, that’s a new one. Who would ever drive in the bus lane? You would be guaranteed to get stuck behind a constantly stop/go vehicle… It doesn’t make sense to me, but I guess if people think they can just pop in and out to pass others, that’s pretty dangerous. I’m glad that cameras will be on the lookout for that. Weaving in traffic is even more dangerous than speeding!

  • Felicia

    it’s no different than monitoring the HOV lanes. The more oversight possible in enforcing the law the better

  • RogerM48

    It is like any other traffic law enforcement, unless there is some method of constant enforcement, drivers in this day and age of “my time is more valuable than your time” attitude, will not pay attention to the bus lane restrictions.

  • CityGal

    Have any of you ever ridden a bus in the city? It’s miserable. Why? Because people who want to avoid sitting in traffic cut into bus lanes and hold up traffic for those of us on the bus. City buses should have their own lane. I’ve seen that in cities around the country and can only hope it helps those of us in Manhattan!

  • howard

    Blomberg is a millionaire he does not care how much it cost to survive in this crazy city well its our fault we voted for him BUT NOT AGAIN

  • Jimmy

    they’ll always be the privileged drivers for which half the city employees have special permits, sitting in the lanes and even parking there.

  • aikoaiko3

    Now if they make double-parking and parking in a bike lane a $5000 offense, we’d be moving in the right direction.

  • Harry Nicholas

    I have 4 great ideas. 1. Termniate all public employee postions and rehire them based on private sector pay and benefits.
    2. Reduce taxes by 10 to 20 percent.
    3.Eliminate 85% of the regulations in NYC.
    4. Get rid of tax hike mike and his cronies. And watch the economy grow and grow to full employment

    Harry Nicholas

  • Michael H.

    Mike, Kevin, MG, here’s some additional information.

    You are allowed to be in the bus lane under two conditions:
    1) to make the next available right turn
    2) to discharge or pick up passengers

  • TJ

    I used to be a Bloomberg fan, but where does it end? Red light cameras, bus lane cameras, and don’t forget he wanted congestion pricing. All designed to take money out of the pockets of the working stiff trying to make a living. Do you know how many millions are brought in by those cameras?
    Big Brother is everywhere now, but the populace is starting to push back, hence the Tea Party and the growing resentment at TSA tactics at the airports.
    Let’s all reread ” 1984″.

    • harriet in ny

      working stiffs, really, you are just making stuff up, working stiffs do not drive to manhatten for work, they take the subway or bus. As for TSA tactics which has nothing to do with the bus lane story, if Bush was still in officer did this there wouldn’t have been a peep, not a peep, who do i know, because the TSA enhanced pat downs is a policy from the Bush Admins. and not a peep, and back then the right wing (tea party to you) was fine with allowing the government to record every the phone call, so much for your new found love of civil liberties,

  • mr hanky

    Next thing you know, everyone will have to go through some xray machine and get patted down before getting on a bus.

  • bf

    Does anyone get the idea that NYC is becoming an intolerable place to live… Rules upon Rules to control everything. Cameras taking pictures to make money. Even the water in bottles gets almost a 10 cent hike in hidden taxes.. And no one says anything. We vote in Mike for another term. How funny.

  • Mark Nierman

    That is what we voted for, guys. Twice! What a shame!

    • harriet in ny

      yeah, :”we” voted for him three times, and there was a huge issue becasue it violated term limits, the sorta thing a NYC’er wouldn’t miss, so why do not you retreat to your little tea party cave, thanks a real new yorker

  • MG

    What happens to Taxis now?? Does anyone know?? How can they pick up and drop-off passengers??

  • Kevin

    Mike, I could not agree with you more. Our rights aren’t merely being eroded, we are sliding down a slippery slope here. Furthermore, cameras lack the discretion that a live human being has, so people will be paying 115 extra dollars to go to the emergency room etc. The red light cameras have merely caused more rear end-type collisions rather than preventing accidents, does anyone think this is going to make the bus service more reliable? That promise is merely just an excuse to paint over this new taxation. Bloomberg can take the subway all he wants, but in the end 115 dollars is NOTHING to him, but a 115 robo-summons can wipe out a days pay for a laborer etc.

    • harriet in ny

      duh, it’s a ticket not an automatic fine, if one of your excuses came up, like going to the er in a hopsital on 2nd Ave, ( you would have the abilty to go to court and explain that you were totally delusional and thougth there was a hosptial on 2nd Ave (of which there are none). Also laborer’s make much more than $115 a day (a Local 78 laborer gets about $300) and there’s no vaild reason why they would need to be in the bus lane on 2nd Ave. during a work day. Well, if they had a valid reason, they could explain it to the judge, as for a live hunams’s discretion, once a brownie starts writing a ticket, they are not allowed to stop, so it doesn’t really matter if it is a camera or a person

  • mike

    The city wants to put us all on busses. Forget about narrow lanes and traffic lets just make money on poor drivers who already are overpaying in inssurance, gass, car costs, tickets. Hell its abviously more lucrative than puting up an orange barrier. This is not an empire state this is the police state.

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