A month before the current strike deadline for Long Island Rail Road workers to walk off the job, the MTA is working on a contingency plan that includes car pools and buses, but its primary piece of advice to commuters is: stay home if the trains stop running.
The MTA will offer locations where commuters can board buses to New York City subway stations and parking areas where carpooling will be promoted, but MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg says whatever the plan is it wont make up for the loss of LIRR trains.
"There is no way that the Long Island Rail Road can be replaced by buses," Lisberg said. "This will be a traffic nightmare if the union walks off the job."
Stephen Liebowitz, who rides the LIRR from West Hempstead to Manhattan every day, calls the idea of telling commuters to stay home "outrageous."
”People just can’t stay home," Liebowitz said. "They just can’t say I am going to ditch work today.”
Mark Epstein, the head of the LIRR Commuter’s Council agrees, saying the plan "inadequate" and that it is being put together without the input of riders and local elected officials.
Nassau’s County Executive Ed Mangano met with the MTA today and urged that the contingency plan be expanded to include more carpooling and bus ride areas.
The LIRR union are planning a rally at the Massapequa station Saturday, calling for a new contract with pay increases. The MTA says it doesn't have the money.