August 22, 2005CTA to Begin Issuing Citations for Bus Lane Scofflaws
The Chicago Transit Authority, working with the City Department of Revenue, will begin issuing citations this week to motorists who illegally park, stop or stand in designated CTA bus lanes or at CTA bus stops. The move is part of CTA's effort to keep lanes clear of traffic so that buses are not delayed.
"Violators that obstruct bus lanes prevent buses from properly pulling into bus stops. That makes it more difficult for customers to board and creates traffic congestion," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?With clear lanes, buses and other traffic can operate more efficiently."
Bus lanes are designed to improve the efficiency of bus service by providing a clear path, but some drivers block the bus lanes making the lanes ineffective so the potential gains of bus lanes are not fully realized.
"When vehicles block bus lanes and bus stops it slows down both CTA serviceand regular traffic," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?It's important for CTA customers and all other drivers that traffic laws be enforced."
CTA is testing the bus lane ticketing pilot for six months along four bus routes: #20 Madison (accessible), #66 Chicago (accessible), #70 Division (accessible) and #76 Diversey (accessible). The routes originate out of the same garage where transportation managers have been trained in writing tickets for the pilot. These routes specifically were chosen because they operate on busy streets and have high ridership.
Twenty-six CTA transportation managers have been trained by the Chicago Police Department to issue citations. Individuals found obstructing bus lanes will be issued a ticket with a fine of $90 payable to the Chicago Department of Revenue.
CTA's transportation managers are familiar with areas where obstructions frequently occur and the ability to ticket provides a tool to help improve bus service and customer safety on their routes. When a transportation manager traveling on a bus sees an illegally parked vehicle in the bus lane, he or she will get off the bus, write the ticket, leave it on the vehicle and board the next bus to continue monitoring the route.
The ticketing pilot will supplement the CTA's current camera enforcement pilot, which uses cameras mounted on two CTA buses operating on the #20 Madison (accessible) route to record images of illegally parked vehicles. The images are sent to the City's Department of Revenue, which then processes Notices of Violation and sends them to the vehicle's owner. This process is similar to the City's Red-Light camera enforcement project. CTA began the bus lane enforcement camera pilot in June, 2004.
As of June 13, 2005, 639 citations had been issued and 258 had been paid, totaling $30,293.# # #