Soon, MTA buses will be carrying new equipment, surveillance cameras to keep drivers out of bus lanes.
Starting October 7th, the cameras will snap photos of bus lane blockers on the M15 Select Bus route, which runs between lower Manhattan and East Harlem on First and Second avenues.
Riders we spoke to are on board.
“They should be ticketed. Anybody who's parked there should be ticketed, just like anywhere else," said one rider
"It seems to work with the speed cameras. I think if people are held accountable, the more you know, obviously they won't do whatever it is they're doing," said another.
51 buses on the M15 route will have cameras. And by the end of November, the surveillance will expand to the M14 along 14th Street in Manhattan, and the B 44 on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn.
For the first 60 days, violators will be hit with warnings, before actual enforcement begins.
By getting cars and trucks out of bus lanes, the MTA hopes to improve average bus speed and reverse a decline in ridership caused by passengers fed up with slow service.
"Many people have no compunction about parking in bus lanes, stopping in bus lanes, even as the number of bus lanes increase. Even though it's a slow start, hopefully people get the message very quickly,” said Lisa Daglian, Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.
After the 60 day grace period, drivers caught on camera violating the bus lane rules can expect a $50 ticket.
State law allows the MTA to operate the surveillance cameras and forward the results to the city for ticketing.
The MTA is budgeting $85 million in its capital plan over the next five years to expand the surveillance cameras to additional routes across the city.