Three of the four bus routes that bring commuters across Central Park at night would be eliminated as a part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's planned "Doomsday" service cuts, forcing late-night bus riders to wait even longer for their rides or walk crosstown "during the hours when the park is at its most foreboding," according to the Times.
While most of the outrage about the MTA's pending service cuts has been about the plan to nix free Metrocards for students, many Manhattanites are furious about the proposed elimination of nighttime service on the M96, the M79 and the M66 buses (service on the M72 already terminates at midnight). The M86 — which boasts an annual ridership of 8.8 million — will keep running at night.
The cuts will impact individuals who work the graveyard shift, including the staff at the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and Mount Sinai hospitals, and AMC Loews employee Elaine Beverly. For the 44-year-old — who works until 2 am at the West 68th Street movie theater and wakes up at 8 am to get ready for her day job at a Brooklyn hospital — the service cuts could add hours to her commute and reduce hours from her sleeping schedule each week. “The quicker I get home to sleep, the better,” Beverly said. M96 bus driver Vincent Wright, 57, called the line "the lifeblood connection between the east and west." He added: "This is a 24-hour city, and you can’t have a 24-hour city without a 24-hour system … The taxi business is probably going to love this; they'll throw a big party if all the cuts happen."