Save the M8 Bus! Stop the Budget Cuts!
A Statement by the NYC Local of the Socialist Party USA

Mass transportation is more than a public service. Metropolitan Transit Authority buses and subways are vital pathways which stitch together New York City's diverse communities. Eliminating or even limiting service effectively isolates sections of the city from one another. The M8 line - a bus line currently under threat of elimination - in Greenwich Village is a perfect example of the integrative function of transport.

There is currently only one way to travel from the East to West Village - the M8 bus. Each day, thousands of the neighborhood's elderly, schoolchildren and working people rely on this bus. While heading to their destinations these passengers are, mostly unknowingly, contributing to the environmental health of the community by sharing transport instead of employing fleets of carbon-dioxide producing cabs or vans for individual rides. Few of these travelers ever make the entire trip across the Village. Most use the bus as a link to one of the system's more efficient underground subway lines.

Though large in size and in budget, NYC's transport system is still relatively underdeveloped. Much of the new construction dedicated to the expansion and extension of subway lines was suspended during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s. Buses have been used as low-cost alternative means to supplement subways as dense urban communities spread beyond the established subway lines. Buses such as the M8 are essential to making the system flow. Their elimination opens the door for the operation of informal vans operated by low wage and non-union workers which will increase the congestion on City streets. The proliferation of van service also threatens the environment as dozens of inefficient vehicles replace one, often green-fueled, bus line. For many, especially the disabled and elderly, cutting the M8 will place serious limitation on their mobility. Community isolation and environmental destruction are the only outcomes of this budget cut.

Since 1998, the office of Socialist Party USA has been located in Greenwich Village . We stand in solidarity with our neighbors and call for the MTA to remove its proposal to eliminate the M8. NYC transportation should be a funding priority. Instead of cut-backs we should be discussing serious proposals to make the system greener and more extensive. In our general statement about the proposed budget cuts, we outline measures which can be implemented immediately to close budget deficits without budget reductions. We understand the struggle to save the M8 as one part of the larger battle to stop the cuts. Working together, activists in the education, healthcare, social services and transport sectors can raise their voices against cutbacks while also beginning to develop alternative progressive visions for New York City in 21st century.

Save the M8!
Stop the Budget Cuts!
Tax the Rich to Clean Up Their Mess!