Press Release #21-019
Friday, May 14, 2021
Contact: Scott Gastel/Brian Zumhagen (212) 839-4850
DOT to Begin Issuing Warnings Along New 181st Street Busway to Vehicles That Violate Bus Lane Restrictions
Sixty-day warning period begins next Monday, May 17th, after which cameras will begin issuing violations
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that starting next Monday, May 17th, 2021, it will begin a 60-day warning period for bus lane violations along the 181st Street Busway in Washington Heights. The 0.5-mile Busway allows for bus and truck priority on 181st Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue in the eastbound direction, and from Amsterdam Avenue to Wadsworth Avenue in the westbound direction, from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM, 7 days a week.
The 181st Street Busway Pilot launched on April 26, 2021 and is part of Mayor de Blasio’s Better Buses Restart plan. DOT will continue to monitor the progress of the busway pilot, ending April 2022, as it remains committed to increasing bus speeds and automated camera enforcement of bus lanes across the city, two critical ways to keep New Yorkers moving.
The corridor now has signage indicating regulations of the busway, and that the bus lanes are camera-enforced. Only buses and trucks are permitted as through traffic; all other vehicles are required to take the next available right turn.
DOT issues warnings to motorists for at least 60 days prior to issuing violations, per State law, when the cameras are first operated to ensure that drivers are informed about the program. Since violations are issued against the vehicle, not the driver, points are not deducted from motorists’ licenses. A single violation will cost $50; under a state law passed in 2019, fines increase for bus-lane violations incurred in a single year – to as much as $250 for a fifth offense.
A full complement of bus priority improvements including automated enforcement, bus lanes, service changes and transit signal priorities has been shown to improve bus speeds by 10-30%. Bus lane camera enforcement is already in effect for the following MTA routes:
- Bx12, along the Fordham Road SBS corridor
- M15, along the First Avenue and Second Avenue SBS corridors
- M34, along the 34th Street SBS corridor
- M60, along the 125th Street SBS corridor
- B44, along the Nostrand Avenue and Rogers Avenue SBS corridor
- S79, along the Hylan Boulevard-Richmond Avenue SBS corridor
- Q44, along the Main Street-Sutphin Boulevard SBS corridor
- Bx41, along Webster Avenue SBS corridor
- B46, along Utica Avenue, Broadway and Malcolm X Boulevard SBS corridor
- M23, along the 23rd Street SBS corridor
- Q52/Q53, along the Woodhaven Boulevard corridor, Broadway, and Beach 59th Street
- Bx6, along East 161st Street SBS corridor
- B82, along Kings Highway SBS corridor
- Q58, southbound along Fresh Pond Road
- B35, along Church Avenue
- M86, along 86th Street
- Q4/Q5, along the Jamaica Avenue
- B25, along Fulton Street
- B17, along Rockaway Parkway
- Bx19, along the East 149th Street corridor
- M103, along Lexington and 3rd Avenues
- M1/M55, along Broadway
- M42, along West 42nd Street
- M14, along the 14th Street corridor
- M3/M4, along 5th Avenue
- M1/M2/M3/M4, along Madison Avenue
- Q17/Q19/ Q20a/Q20b/Q25/Q27/Q34/Q44 SBS/Q50/Q65/Q66, along Main Street
Due to new State legislation passed in 2019, the City is now allowed to expand the bus lane camera program as needed. The program was previously limited to only 16 routes. Additional camera-enforced routes will be added over time. DOT also works with the NYPD to enforce bus lanes citywide.