AUSTIN -- Many people may come downtown to eat, shop or work, but regardless, those who drive the streets of downtown Austin should be aware of the new bus-only lanes and the new laws around them.
Starting Monday, police will start issuing tickets to drivers or pedestrians who violate the laws.
The lanes run from Cesar Chavez Street to Martin Luther King Boulevard along two busy streets in the heart of downtown: Guadalupe and Lavaca.
They’re designed for the new, faster Metro Rapid bus service.
Cars are only allowed in the lanes if drivers are turning right. Driving in the lanes without turning can result in a $200 ticket.
“It’s just really been an education process,” said Lt. Troy Officer with Austin police.
Officer tells KVUE that since the bus-only lanes opened nearly two weeks ago, they have issued more than 100 warnings.
“In the first week we wrote, I want to say, 65 and we wrote 30-some since then.”
However, starting Monday, Feb. 10, APD will start writing tickets.
APD says they will still issue some warnings for driving in the lanes, but there is a zero tolerance policy for violating the other new laws.
“If you’re parked and stopped or standing you will be issued a citation,” Officer said.
In January, Austin City Council approved increasing the fine for parking, stopping or standing in a bus-only lane to $500.