MTA details back-up plan for commuters for potential LIRR strike

On Friday, the MTA said it was prepared to buses and ferries to counter a potential strike as early as July 20 if the transit authority and labor leaders for LIRR workers can't agree on a new contract. Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
On Friday, the MTA said it was prepared to buses and ferries to counter a potential strike as early as July 20 if the transit authority and labor leaders for LIRR workers can’t agree on a new contract.
Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority detailed its plan to accommodate commuters who might be stranded if labor negotiations with Long Island Rail Road unions are derailed.

On Friday, the MTA said it was prepared to offer bus and ferry services to counter a potential strike as early as July 20 if the transit authority and labor leaders can’t agree on a new contract.

The disclosure preempts possible concerns from customers who were affected by the last LIRR worker strike in 1994.

“There were no park-and-ride lots, no ferries, no real-time monitoring, no telecommuting,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said in a statement last week. “Today, the MTA has a far stronger, more robust, multifaceted plan.”

Officials said they had a network of 350 Long Island-based buses companies lined up to shuttle as many as 15,000 customers with LIRR tickets at select locations during rush hours — towards New York City between 4 and 7 a.m., and back to Long Island between 3 and 7 p.m.

A ferry service would also run three times in the morning from Glen Cove to East 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan, and three times back in the evening. As many as 1,000 rider can board at no cost for a trip estimated to take 40 minutes each way.

Those choosing to drive will come across less construction, as the state announced it would suspend any non-emergency work if there were a strike.

Drivers can also still take the High Occupancy Vehicle lane along the Long Island Expressway, but will require three people per car instead of the usual two.

The MTA said it would also offer 4,000 parking spaces at CitiField and 3,000 at the Aqueduct Racetrack while providing regular availability reports through social media.

Prendergast also said the MTA had secured commitments form local business that they would allow at least 18,000 workers to work from home if there were to be a strike.

An estimated 300,000 riders use the LIRR system every day.

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria


Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.


Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."


Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.


Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).


Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.


Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.


Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.


Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.


Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…