Metro looks to keep DC’s bus lanes clear with cameras, fines

You may want to stay out of those bus lanes in the city when you need a quick parking job — in the future, camera-enforced tickets may be coming.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority estimates their busses only travel about 10 mph on average. It’s even worse for the transit agency’s most popular routes.

Aiming to improve service, reliability and speed, WMATA plans to partner with the D.C. Department of Transportation to install cameras on 140 buses this year. Those cameras would target cars and other vehicles that use or park in bus-only lanes, or at bus stops.

Each designated bus would receive a camera mounted on the windshield that would record videos of the violator, as well as a separate camera that would take snapshots of license plates. A GPS system would ensure videos and photos would only be taken near bus lanes.

Footage and photos of any violators would then be sent to the city for tickets, which right now would cost $200.

The Clear Lanes project would be a partnership between the city and the mass transit agency.

Metro would pay $4.6 million over the first two years of the project. The District would chip in $3.1 million over the same span.

If approved by the WMATA board, the contract would allow the camera system to expand to 600 busses over the next decade.

The first 140 cameras would be installed this summer, with plans to start issuing tickets in the fall.

The WMATA board will vote on the plan on April 14.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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