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Bx cuts would cripple neighborhoods

The MTA’s axe is set to execute Sunday service on the Bx8 bus and residents of geographically isolated neighborhoods such as Locust Point and Edgewater Park are upset.

But so are residents of Waterbury-LaSalle and Pelham Parkway. So are people from around the Bronx who ride the Bx8 between Locust Point and its terminus near E. 226th Street and White Plains Road.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca is one of several elected officials who have demanded that the MTA to reconsider its planned Bx8 Sunday service cut and scheme to eliminate the Bx14 bus completely.

“This is another one of the MTA’s shortsighted cuts that impacts the same people who were just socked with fare hikes, toll hikes and tax hikes,” Vacca said. “I have put forth a specific plan and presented it to the MTA that would make this and other cuts unnecessary. The ball is now in their court.”

The planned service cuts are part of an MTA effort to close a $350 million budget gap. Vacca and fellow City Council members want the MTA to plug the gap with capital dollars.

Mary Jane Musano of the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association thinks that the Bx8 Sunday service cut would hamstring the elderly.

“Our seniors and the disabled would be unfairly hurt,” Musano said. “They shop, go to church and visit on Sundays. They need this service.”

Pelham Parkway South Neighborhood Association president Edith Blitzer observed that all sorts of people use the Bx8 bus in Morris Park.

“A cut to that bus line would be very disruptive,” Blitzer said. “People use it to go to shopping, to go visiting and to reach Einstein [Hospital]. My daughter uses it to go to work. [Bx8] service is sporadic [enough] as it is.”

The planned elimination of the Bx14 would disconnect Country Club and Spencer Estate from the public transit. The bus runs through both neighborhoods to the 6 IRT Pelham Bay subway station.

Waterbury-LaSalle children who attend Villa Maria Academy in Country Club would suffer if the Bx14 were eliminated, Andrew Chirico of the WLCA pointed out.

“The Bx14 picks up and drops off the children who attend

Villa Maria,” Chirico said. “If the bus is eliminated, it will impact seventh and eighth graders. They aren’t allowed to use the yellow school bus.”

Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto also plan to fight the service cuts.

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

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