Ramped up bus lane enforcement coming to Center City

bus lane
The city painted the bus lane on Chestnut Street red over the summer.
City of Philadelphia

There will be an extra set of eyes on Center City’s bus-only lanes beginning next week.

Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration, along with SEPTA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority, are launching an enhanced enforcement campaign Monday targeting drivers who stop on or veer into the bus lanes.

PPA officers will be patrolling Chestnut Street between 6th and 23rd streets; Market Street between 6th and 20th streets; and JFK Boulevard from 15th to 19th streets, according to the administration.

Previous campaigns focused solely on Market and Chestnut streets, though the city has not conducted enhanced enforcement of the bus lanes since 2019, prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Making buses faster and more reliable is a key goal for the administration as more people return to Center City for work or leisure,” Kenney said in a statement.

“Blocking bus lanes not only increases traffic congestion but also threatens the lives of pedestrians and bus passengers,” PPA Chairperson Beth Grossman said. “During the enforcement blitz, the PPA will strictly enforce all ‘No Stopping’ and ‘No Standing’ violations in bus lanes.”

In June, crews painted the bus lane on Chestnut Street red, citing studies showing the color change leads more drivers to comply with the rules.

Bus travel times improved by 2-and-a-half minutes on Chestnut Street from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River during the enhanced enforcement period in the fall of 2019, according to the city. Riders on Market Street saved about 30 seconds between 7th Street and City Hall.

Ramped-up enforcement in summer 2019 led to almost 700 tickets being issued to drivers on Chestnut Street, officials said.

The enhanced enforcement period typically lasts at least two weeks.

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