NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As of Monday morning, New York City is using cameras to crack down on vehicles in bus lanes.

The recording devices, which were installed on more than 50 buses, will capture the license plates.

For the next 60 days, drivers will receive a warning in the mail. After that, $50 tickets will go out to first time violators.

Repeat offenders face fines up to $250.

It’s part of the mayor’s goal to increase bus speeds by 25 percent next year.

The first buses equipped with the cameras are on the M15 Select Bus Service route on Manhattan’s First and Second Avenues. The buses travel in dedicated bus lanes and are being equipped with the Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) camera systems. The cameras can capture photos and videos of vehicles that obstruct bus lanes, and the information is then passed along to the city’s Department of Transportation for review and processing.

According to the MTA, the system collects multiple pieces of evidence to make sure that drivers will not receive tickets for making permitted turns from bus lanes.

On Sunday, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner saw multiple cyclists in a bus lane, but the DOT said the cameras will not issue them tickets. Only the NYPD can enforce that.

“I think it’s fantastic. Let’s keep the buses moving,” passenger Scott Manville said.

“There’s always traffic on the main avenues, so I actually think it’s a good idea. So maybe it’ll stop people and deter them,” passenger Alissa Sheldon added.

Some drivers said they worry the technology will create an unfair system.

“It’s not fair. You can’t tell them you had to stay to pick up someone or drop off someone or sometimes to avoid any accidents you had to go to the lane and come back,” driver Jafarr Rakhmatov said.

The MTA plans to expand the ABLE system to the B44 SBS and M14 SBS by the end of November for a total of 123 ABLE-equipped buses across the M15, B44 and M14 routes.


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