Want to reduce emissions? Build and enforce bus lanes, NACTO finds

Hayden AI


Transportation is the largest source of emissions in the United States – and they’re only going up as vehicle miles traveled continues to increase.

A bus lane in downtown Oakland.

The fastest and most effective way to reverse this dangerous trend is to improve bus service, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) found in its new report, “Move! That! Bus!” According to NACTO’s research, one bus can carry up to eight times more people than a car, resulting in 82% fewer emissions per trip.

Speeding up buses keeps them running on time, which is critical to increasing transit ridership – and getting more people out of cars and into buses. Better bus service isn’t just great for our climate: it makes transportation safer and more equitable, too.

To increase bus speeds, NACTO recommends that transit agencies and cities work together to establish bus-only lanes and keep cars and trucks out of those lanes with automated camera-based enforcement.

“Dedicated bus lanes only work if there are no cars in them,” NACTO writes. “Cameras are a more equitable, sustainable, and effective option than relying on a police officer to enforce dedicated bus lanes. For example, during San Francisco’s pilot program, automated enforcement cameras reduced delays in dedicated bus lanes by 3-15%, and less than 2% of drivers received more than one ticket.”

Automated bus lane enforcement is a powerful tool because it so clearly works. In fact, we recently launched a partnership with New York City’s MTA to install 300 of our AI-powered camera systems on MTA buses to conduct automated bus lane enforcement. We love to see NACTO recommend that transit agencies and cities not just build bus lanes, but enforce them with automated enforcement technologies, too.

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