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Wednesday’s Headlines: ‘ACE’ in the Hole Edition

The MTA approved a $141-million contract to put hundreds of new automated traffic enforcement cameras on buses. Plus more news.

MTA cameras enforce the bus lane on the M15 route. Photo: Marc Hermann / MTA

Bus lane blockers won't be the only scofflaws subject to the MTA's bus-mounted enforcement cameras in the coming months.

Transit officials on Tuesday approved a $141-million contract to mount hundreds of new automated enforcement cameras to issue tickets to bus lane violators as well as drivers who double park on bus routes and block bus stops.

The MTA's "Automated Bus Lane Enforcement," or ABLE, program launched in 2019 on 123 buses on select routes, but was initially limited to just bus lane enforcement. State legislators in Albany gave the MTA and city to power last year to use the cameras to also enforce against blocking bus stops and double parking in the path of buses — as well as illegal parking in truck loading zones, bike lanes, intersections and crosswalks.

Tuesday's board vote expanded the scope of program to 1,000 buses by the end of this year and 2,000 buses by the end of 2027, Gothamist reported. Officials have re-dubbed the program "ACE," or Automated Camera Enforcement, since it no longer applies to just bus lanes.

MTA officials in December teased a "pilot" with the city Department of Transportation to add bike lane enforcement to the program, but made no mention of those plans at Tuesday's board meeting. The contract only expands the use of the cameras to double parking and bus stops, starting with 14 existing ABLE routes in the second quarter of this year.

Streetsblog reached out to both the MTA and DOT for an update on the previously announced bike lane enforcement pilot. MTA spokesperson Meghan Keegan said the effort is "still in the works."

In other news:

  • New study blames delivery app companies for high rates of assaults on delivery workers. (Gothamist)
  • The State Senate's longtime Transportation Committee chair is headed to Congress. (Politico)
  • Bill Murray rode the 7 train back from Citi Field ... in a Cubs hat. (Patch)
  • Pregnant MTA bus drivers continue push for light duty work. (amNY, The City)
  • There's now video of an NYPD officer learning how to drive a bus to transport protesters. (Hell Gate)
  • Families for Safe Streets leaders celebrated the passage of Sammy's Law at the site where an SUV driver killed 3-year-old Allison Liao in 2013. (Brad Hoylman via Twitter)

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