Last Updated on November 1, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
What is a Bus Lane?
A bus lane is a travel lane that is restricted to buses during certain hours of the day. Over two and one-half million people ride the bus every day in NYC. (Pretty incredible!). What’s the fuss about:
- Bus lanes keep buses from getting stuck in traffic
- Bus lanes make bus travel fast and more reliable than traveling by automobile in NYC
- Buses are better for a greener earth
Here are some tips
- Unless otherwise restricted, vehicles are permitted in the bus lane to make the next available right turn
- You are permitted to stop in the bus lane for the time it takes for a passenger at the curb to enter or a passenger to exit the vehicle and to the sidewalk
- Businesses cannot pick-up or deliver goods in a bus lane during the hours it is in effect, however:
- Many bus lanes have mid-day hours when parking and deliveries are permitted
- Some streets with bus lanes also have delivery space on an opposite curb or on a side street
- If you drive, park, or stand in a bus lane during hours of operation you face fines ranging from $115 to $150
- NYC enforces bus lanes two (2) ways:
- Bus lane cameras (Important to know!)
- NYPD regularly patrols bus lanes, and issue both moving and parking violations to bus lane violators
Types of Bus Lanes
- A Curbside Bus Lane
- A travel lane for buses at the curb. Parking and standing at the curb are not allowed during the hours the bus lane is in effect
- An offset Bus Lane
- A travel lane for buses one lane away from the curb. This makes parking and standing at the curb still possible
Bus Lane Law
Bus lane restrictions on city streets.
When signs are erected giving notice of bus lane restrictions, no person shall drive a vehicle other than a bus within a designated bus lane during the restricted hours, except:
(1) to use such bus lane in order to make a right-hand turn where permitted into a street, private road, private drive, or an entrance to private property in a safe manner; or
(2) to approach to or leave the curbside space, unless standing or stopping at the curb is prohibited by sign or rule; or
(3) temporarily to enter or leave the bus lane for the purpose of and while actually engaged in expeditiously receiving or discharging passengers, except when such activity is prohibited by signs or rules; or
(4) to avoid an obstacle that obstructs the roadway and leaves fewer than ten feet of roadway width available for the free movement of vehicular traffic (except for temporary situations such as slow-moving traffic and vehicles loading refuse); or
(5) to comply with the direction of any law enforcement officer or other person authorized to enforce this rule.
With respect to the exceptions in paragraphs one through four of this subdivision, a vehicle may not be operated in the bus lane during restricted hours for more than two hundred feet. The preceding sentence does not apply where posted signs, markings, or other traffic control devices indicate otherwise.
With respect to the exceptions in paragraphs two through five of this subdivision, a vehicle must exit the bus lane at the nearest opportunity where it is safe and legal to do so.
Notwithstanding any other provision of these rules, no person may drive a vehicle within a designated bus lane in a manner that interferes with the safety and passage of buses operating
Source: Matthew Weiss, Esquire. Weiss and Associates, PC. New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers
There are many stakeholders fighting for space on the mean streets of NYC. There are:
- Motor scooters
- Commercial vehicles
- Green Space
- You and I and Harvey…
It is a good strategy to know the rules of engagement. The NYC DOT publishes a terrific Brochure about Bus Lanes (which I used to prepare this blog article). Here’s a FREE Download of the DOT Brochure (no email address required).
I also wish to thank our great friend, Josh Alpert for suggesting a blog post about Bus Lanes. Josh is a relentless fighter against rogue parking ticket warriors issuing unjust parking tickets; and is passionate about his business of eliminating bed bugs and other vermin, in an environmentally sound way. Check out Josh’s Facebook Page for Green Earth Pest Control, Inc. You’ll be glad you did.
Have you felt the slings and arrows of a parking ticket for a bus lane violation? Please share your story. It helps all of us.