While the M8 bus only runs three or four times an hour, depending on the time of day, it is still an important mode 0f transportation for a lot of people. Especially me. If it's your regular route, you memorize the schedule and can time your commute pretty accurately. This Fall it has had an ontime record of close to 95% according to my inner calculations. The other nearest cross town public transportation options are the buses of Houston or 14th Street, or the L train. None of those options are very good for people who need to be near 8th or 9th Street. The alternative would require a horribly long walk, made especially worse when it is bitter cold.
And now they are talking about taking it away. Not just cutting back the service from three or four times an hour to two or three times an hour, but completely eliminating it. And this, just after they replaced the missing bus stop sign at 10th St & Ave A.
This possible descent into hell has been dominating the conversation on the bus this week due to its prominence on the front page of the Villager.
I was pleased to see that our friend Noam, who owns the Fire/Police licensed stuff store (they sell those shirts that command you to STAND BACK 200 FEET) that recently moved near 6th Ave from their location on Lafayette St, is quoted in the article noticing the problem of there being hardly any more stores at all, as they are all closing during our period of the 2nd great depression.
Noam, by the way, grew up in the East Village (Avenue B I believe) and it was only recently, after they rode the post-911 bandwagon of riches where people couldn't get enough of the NYC fire and police licensed stuff, that they left NY and bought a house in New Jersey. I am led to believe that they wish they could move back. But if they lose the bus, they might have to move their store to New Jersey or sell it all on eBay out of their giant New Jersey basement.
Note on my snarky comment about post-911 riches: in fact, they donated a ton of their profits to the firefighters families of 911 and in no way knew that their business was going to take off like it did. It's not like they set up shop on 9/12 . Up until then they owned a small store operating on the fringes of success.They were sort of strange benefactors of the great tragedy and I don't mean to belittle them or the success that they certainly deserve, but I can't help myself from being snarky when a snarky opportunity comes along.