Residents and merchants are cautiously optimistic after meeting with the MTA to discuss the new Bx8 bus route.
The MTA has agreed to look at issues brought up by the community and will come back with its own findings this fall.
A recent meeting at Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s office was called by the Throggs Neck Merchants Association and the Throggs Neck Home Owners after their members said that the Bx8 does not serve several basic needs, including allowing seniors from many Throggs Neck communities to access the East Tremont Avenue shopping district, St. Benedict’s Church, and the Northeast Bronx Senior Center.
The new route, replacing the Bx14, runs from Country Club and Spencer Estate to Edgewater Park and Locust Point.
It has also drawn criticism for residents on Stadium and Dean avenues due to the excessive number of nearly empty buses. Senior bus riders are concerned that if they are taking the bus from Throggs Neck, there is a nine block walk to St. Benedict’s Church from Dean and Layton avenues. This fall, the route could also affect school children going to P.S. 14.
“I am insisting that the lack of access to St. Benedict’s Church, Foodtown, and P.S. 14 for residents of Throggs Neck, who previously had such access, be addressed by the MTA,” Vacca said. “Such action should also clear up many of the scheduling issues that have been made by the residents of Country Club. The MTA has to be made aware, in no uncertain terms, of the problems caused by the elimination of the Bx14.”
Splitting the bus route was one proposal that came out of the meeting. Two new bus routes would be created, one essentially following the same route as the discontinued Bx14 and the other following a more direct route to Edgewater Park and Locust Point, while including stops near Bruckner Boulevard and Logan and Crosby avenues. This would effectively solve issues many seniors have had accessing the Northeast Bronx Senior Center and the East Tremont Avenue shopping area.
“I have heard from seniors that they cannot get up to the East Tremont Avenue shopping district unless the Bx8 bus brings them to the senior center,” said John Cerini, president of the Throggs Neck Merchant Association. “If they can get to the corner of Logan Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard, they’ll be able to walk the two blocks to catch the bus at E. Tremont Avenue.”
MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said the agency will review the Bx8 bus route and come back with its own findings in the fall.
Vacca said, “The ball is now in the MTA’s court.”