Thousands of LIRR workers may walk off the job Sunday, causing commuting headaches for more than 300,000 daily riders in need of alternative transportation.
For New Yorkers who rely on the railroad, there are a few ways to get around in case of a LIRR strike.
The MTA will establish a network of 350 school buses to shuttle displaced LIRR riders from eight spots in Nassau and Suffolk counties to three Queens subway stations. The buses are expected to accommodate about 15,000 commuters. To board the buses, riders must present a valid LIRR ticket.
Shuttle buses will only operate during rush hour, into New York City between 4 and 7 a.m. and returning to Long Island between 3 and 7 p.m., depending on each stop.
-- Nassau Community College and Freeport, Bellmore and Seaford LIRR stations Shuttles will operate to the A train at Howard Beach Station from 4:30 to 7:30 a.m. and back between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
-- Manhasset LIRR station Shuttles will operate to the 7 train at Mets-Willets Point from 4:30 to 7:30 a.m. and back between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
-- Ronkonkoma and Deer Park LIRR stations Shuttles will operate to the 7 train at Mets-Willets Point from 4 to 7 a.m. and back between 3 and 7 p.m.
-- Hicksville LIRR station Shuttles will operate to the M and R trains at Woodhaven Boulevard from 4:30 to 7:30 a.m. and back between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Nassau Inter-County Express
NICE buses will continue to run through a strike, though the company doesn't have many surplus vehicles in case of increased ridership.
-- Gibson and Valley Stream LIRR stations The N1 runs during peak periods to the F train at the 179th St. Station.
--West Hempstead and Hempstead LIRR stations The N6/N6x run to the F train at the 179th St. Station.
--East Williston, Mineola, Carle Place, Westbury, Hicksville LIRR stations The N22/N22A/N22X run to the F train at the 179th St. Station.
--Bellerose, Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Merillon Avenue, Mineola, Carle Place, Westbury, Hicksville LIRR stations The N24 will run to the F train at the 179th St. Station.
-- Great Neck The N26 runs peak weekdays to the F train at the 179th St. Station.
-- Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, Baldwin and Freeport The N4/N4X run to the E and J/Z trains at Jamaica Center Station.
-- Great Neck, Manhasset, Greenvale and Hicksville LIRR stations The N20 runs to the 7 train at Flushing Main Street Station.
-- Great Neck and Sea Cliff LIRR stations The N21 runs to the 7 train at Flushing Main Street Station on weekdays.
-- Inwood, Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Hewlett, Lynbrook, Malverne, West Hempstead and Hempstead LIRR stations The N31/N32 run to the A train at Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue Station. (N31 doesn't run on Sundays.)
-- Long Beach LIRR station The N33 runs to the A train at Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue Station
New York City Transit Buses
Local bus service will also operate to subway stations.
-- Murray Hill, Broadway, Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck LIRR stations The Q12/Q13/Q28 run to the 7 train at Flushing Main Street Station. The QM3 also runs to Midtown.
--Queens Village LIRR station The Q1/Q36 run to the F train at the 179th Street station.
-- Hollis LIRR station The Q2 runs to the F train at the 179th Street Station. The Q110 runs to the E and J/Z trains at Jamaica Center Station.
-- St. Albans The Q4 runs to the E and J/Z trains at Jamaica Center Station.
--Locust Manor LIRR station The Q85 runs to the E and J/Z trains at Jamaica Center station. The QM21 also offers peak express to Midtown.
Brooklyn and Queens subway lines are expected to be packed with extra LIRR commuters. The 7, E and A routes will likely have the heaviest ridership in the event of a strike, but the MTA said the J/Z, M and R will also likely see increased ridership.
Avoid lines by purchasing MetroCards early. Both $5 and $25 cards will be sold at LIRR ticket offices. Other vendors also sell the cards.
Because of signal system restrictions and limited availability of additional train sets, the MTA can't increase scheduled subway service if the LIRR isn't operating. But additional platform conductors and personell will be deployed at strategic locations along those lines, including:
-- Queens Blvd Line (E, F, R and M trains): 179th/Hillside (ADA Location), 169th/Hillside, Parsons/Archer, Parsons Hillside, Sutphin/Archer, Sutphin/Hillside, Van Wyck/Queens Blvd., Jamaica-Van Wyck, Union Turnpike/Queens Blvd., Woodhaven Blvd.
-- Flushing Line (7 train): Main Street (ADA Location), Mets-Willets Point
-- Rockaway Line (A train): Far Rockaway, Howard Beach-JFK Airport (ADA Location), Aqueduct (Back-up location for Howard Beach and Park-N-Ride), Lefferts Blvd.
The MTA said police may be present to prevent overcrowding on platforms and trains. Expect lines and extra waiting.
The MTA said that traveling by car into Manhattan will be "virtually impossible." Officials recommend carpooling and using parking lots near subway stations.
High-occupancy vehicle lanes on the Long Island Expressway are expected to be expanded to require three people, not two, to a car.
Park and ride to the subway
Park and ride subway riders won't be required to pay subway fare at these locations with a valid LIRR ticket in the morning.
-- Citi Field Transfer to the 7 subway line.
-- Aqueduct Race Rack Transfer to the A subway line.
The MTA and state Department of Transportation have established a network of designated ride shares to ease up car traffic into Manhattan. There will be 8,400 parking spots at these locations.
-- In Nassau County: Bethpage State Park, Hempstead Lake State Park, Valley Stream State Park
-- In Suffolk County: Belmont Lake State Park, Farmingdale State College, Heckscher State Park, Sunken Meadow State Park
There will be free ferry service through the Seastreak Ferry between Glen Gove and East 34th Street in Manhattan for LIRR riders with valid tickets. Times are to be determined but would run three times eastbound in the morning and three at night going west. The ferry would carry 1,000 riders and trips would take approximately 40 minutes.