With citation revenue continuing to increase, Muni is set to expand its bus-camera enforcement system, a program aimed at nabbing motorists for traveling in transit-only lanes.
Currently, only 30 of Muni’s 800-plus buses have the cameras, which snap a photograph of the scofflaw before sending a citation to the vehicle owner. Despite the program’s modest reach, citation revenue has grown steadily since it was implemented in 2009 as part of a new state law.
In the first year, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency netted $186,742 in revenue. Last year, that grew to $314,385.
Citations are likely to continue trending upward with the planned expansion of the program to 300 cameras by next year. Eventually, the entire bus fleet will be outfitted with the cameras, said SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose.
The agency has said the threat of citations improves Muni reliability and increases safety, since bus drivers don’t have to swerve in and out of lanes to avoid cars that are illegally in the way.
Cars parked in transit-only lanes are hit with $115 fines, while vehicles driving in the lanes are docked $60.
Along with expanding the camera program, the SFMTA will build on its transit-only lane network. Starting in 2014, transit-only lanes will be added to Mission Street from downtown to 30th Street, along with new lanes on 16th Street between Mission and Third streets. Right now, The City has about 15 miles of transit-only lanes, with most located in the Financial District and Chinatown.
Adding more of the lanes is a key component to speeding up Muni service. If Muni speeds were increased by 1 mph systemwide, it would save $76 million in operational efficiencies, according to a 2010 report.
A look at how Muni has increased revenue with its transit-only lane enforcement program:
Year Citations Revenue
2009 1,311 $186,742
2010 2,102 $219,254
2011 3,052 $314,385