NEW YORK (WABC) -- The 14th Street Busway opened Thursday with the hopes of speeding up MTA buses in Manhattan.
The busway allows the city to partially ban cars on the stretch of 14th Street between Third and Ninth avenues between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
"The new 14th Street busway is now in effect, and bus riders will finally get moving," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "This smart project will speed up buses while allowing for the car drop-offs and deliveries the neighborhood requires. Under our Better Buses plan, we are making changes citywide to fight congestion and to give people faster and more reliable transit."
The 14th Street Transit and Truck Priority Project aims to improve reliability for the M14A/D select bus service.
The regulations are as follows:
- Only buses and trucks may make through trips along 14th Street between 9th Avenue and 3rd Avenues.
- All other vehicles, including passenger vehicles can make local trips to access the curb, garages, and make pick-ups/drop-offs, but must turn at the next available right.
- Commercial vehicles may load and unload in short-term metered zones.
- Left turns from 14th Street are now prohibited.
WATCH: Officials give briefing ahead of 14th St. busway opening
Some are concerned that the move will clog nearby side streets, and there was confusion from drivers during implementation.
"One concern we heard from the side streets, was where trucks divert," DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. "We're also going to allow trucks go to through, so hopefully some key part of the traffic will not be flowing to those side streets. We'll be working closely with police to discourage excess traffic from going to those side streets, and monitoring it closely."
The busway plan was supposed to start July 1, but it was held up by a preliminary injunction back on June 28. It will operate seven days a week, and there will be a grace period of 60 days before drivers are ticketed.
After the warning period, the first violation is $50, lowered from $115. However, the new law now includes a graduated fine structure. Fines increase by $50 for each violation in a 12-month period, up to $250.
Click here for more details on the plan.