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Bx8 Sunday service endangered

Bronx residents already angry over the proposed elimination of the Bx14 bus were furious to learn that the MTA also plans to eliminate Bx8 bus Sunday service.

In order to plug its $343 million budget gap, the MTA has announced plans to cut several bus and subway lines. A complete proposal, set to take affect in June 2010, was released on Wednesday, December 16.

Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto joined Councilman Jimmy Vacca to protest the proposed cuts. Vacca launched a petition drive to rescue the Bx14 on Friday, December 11. When it comes to the Bx8, it appears that the elected officials will pull no punches.

“This proposal came down suddenly, without any collaborative outreach,” Klein said. “When discussing such vital services and cuts, we need more than just a week to look at different alternatives.”

The MTA nearly eliminated Bx8 Sunday service a year ago but instead made do with a state bailout. The elimination of Bx8 Sunday service would isolate Locust Point, Edgewater Park and parts of Throggs Neck from the mass transit grid.

“We’re horrified that the MTA is taking away Sunday service on the Bx8 line,” Throggs Neck Home Owners president Lynn Gerbino said. “There are a lot of seniors who no longer drive, who use the Bx8 to get to and from church.”

Chrys Napolitano, vice-president of the Locust Point Civic Association, thinks that losing the Bx8 service would make it difficult for home healthcare aids to reach seniors who need help at home on Sundays.

Napolitano said, “This puts our seniors at a great disadvantage, because the next nearest bus route is the Bx40 and we cannot always count on the senior having a family member who can go and pick up the home healthcare aide. I can see them cutting the number of buses, but to eliminate a whole day of service [is troublesome.]”

The change would also inconvenience those who ride the Bx8 in Waterbury-LaSalle, Pelham Bay, Morris Park and Pelham Parkway. The Bx8 terminates near White Plains Road and E. 226th Street.

Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3393 or procchio@cnglocal.com

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