The five boroughs of New York City have over 300 bus routes and almost 6,000 buses. Many, but not all, of these buses utilize designated bus lanes.
Manhattan’s main bus lanes are on Broadway and on Madison Avenue, but there are numerous such lanes throughout the City.
Just a few years ago, a bus lane ticket carried no points. Alas, these days, it’s a two-point ticket.
If I’m not driving a bus, am I ever allowed to drive in a bus lane?
Yes. If a bus lane is also a turn lane, you may enter the bus lane to make the next available turn.
Example: You are driving northbound on Madison Avenue. You want to turn right to go east on 48th Street. The right two lanes on Madison are designated bus lanes at this location. You may enter the right bus lane after you pass 46th Street to make a right turn from the bus lane.
Why then? You can’t turn right onto 47th Street, thus, you are allowed to be in the bus lane before you cross that street, provided you make the next available right turn.
You’re also allowed to pick up or drop off a passenger in the bus lane, but you’d better be quick. If you remain there for any time longer than necessary, you risk a ticket.
What if I’m making a delivery?
No, you can’t make a delivery in an active bus lane.
What about bus lane camera tickets?
These are annoying, yes. But they’re no points. You have every right to fight them on your own, but you don’t need to hire counsel for a no-point ticket. My office does not handle these for that reason.
Bus Lane Hours
Keep in mind that some bus lanes are only in effect for specific hours — outside of that time frame, you may treat those lanes as you would any other lane of travel.
And that’s not all…
Many officers will write two tickets if they see you in a bus lane — one for driving in a bus lane, and the other for disobeying a traffic device, in violation of VTL 1110(a). The traffic device here is the sign or pavement marking that says “bus lane.” Annoying as it is to get two tickets for the same offense, it’s common. Both of these are two-point tickets.
If you get a ticket for this violation, contact my office. I’ll fight the case for you without you having to go to court, and I’ll give you the best possible chance to win.