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How You Can Get Around in Case of a Long Island Rail Road Strike

By Colby Hamilton | July 16, 2014 7:25am | Updated on July 16, 2014 12:12pm
 Long Island Railroad options could become scarce if a striked threatened by workers takes place later this week.
Long Island Railroad options could become scarce if a striked threatened by workers takes place later this week.
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Getty Images/Bruce Bennett

QUEENS — There are just a few days left before Long Island Rail Road workers decide whether to strike, leaving New Yorkers who rely on the commuter line scrambling for other ways to get around.

To help you get where you need to go, DNAinfo New York has rounded up a list of resources — both official and unofficial.

This list will be updated throughout the week, so check back for changes or additional information.

How to Get Around by Bus

The MTA plans to provide a fleet of commuter buses for Long Islanders trying to get into the city, operating from seven LIRR stations and Nassau Community College to major transit hubs where subways and other public transit options will be available. Riders will need to present a vaild LIRR ticket to board the busses. While they won't need to pay to connect to subways on their commute in, they will need to pay on the return trip home.

From Ronkonkoma and Deer Park: Buses will run from the Ronkonkoma and Deer Park LIRR stations to the 7 train Citi Field Stadium-Willets Point between 4 and 7:30 a.m. and back to Long Island from 3 to 7 p.m.

From Manhasset station: Buses will run from the Manhasset station to the 7 train Citi Field-Willets Point stop from 4:30 to 7:30 a.m. and from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

From Hicksville station: Shuttle buses will run from the LIRR Hicksville station to the subways at Woodhaven Boulevard M/R train station from 4:30 to 7:30 a.m. and return between 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

From Seaford, Bellmore, Freeport and Nassau Community College: Buses will run from Seaford, Bellmore, Freeport and the Nassau Community College LIRR stops to the A train Howard Beach-JFK stop from 4:30 to 7:30 a.m. and return between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Officials warned that despite the additional shuttle bus service, it will be "unavoidable that there will be severe delays and overcrowding on Long Island roadways, and on buses and subways in South Eastern Queens ... and parts of Northeastern Queens ...  We will need everyone to be patient."

Nassau Inter-County Express service: NICE bus service will continue to connect riders in Nassau County to subways in Queens. Check for full bus routes and schedules.

  • Flushing 7 train: N20 from Hicksville and the N21 from Glen Cove
  • Rockaway A train: N31/N32 from Hempstead and West Hempstead, and N33 from Long Beach
  • 179th St F train: N1 from Hewlett, N6/N6X from Hempstead, N22/N22A/N22X from Hicksville, N24 from Hicksville, N26 from Great Neck
  • Jamaica Center Station E/J/Z: N4/N4X from Freeport

Private bus operators, or jitneys, will also operate across the city and Long Island. These include the Hampton Jitney, Bolt Bus, Go Bus, the Hampton Luxury Liner, and 7 Bus. Check for service schedules and ticket availability.

How to Get Around by Car

City officials warned that traffic will be a nightmare in the event of an LIRR strike, with an estimated 300,000 daily commuters left without trains, and urged anyone considering using their car to do so sparingly, and to carpool.

"Traveling into Manhattan by car will be virtually impossible, with massive traffic jams expected. We recommend that drivers carpool and drive to park and ride subway locations," the MTA said on its website.

In addition, the Department of Transportation plans to put high-occupancy lanes into effect, and those with less than three passengers may not be allowed to use the lanes.

Find Carpool Buddies: Connect to those looking to carpool on the DOT's 511NYRideshare website.

Craigslist has a section specifically dedicated to rideshares where those seeking a ride or offering a ride can connect.

• Sites like eRideShare.com let you post and search for car sharing options as well.

• New York State's DOT also provides a service called Commuter Link which can help connect commuters who want to carpool.

Park & Ride: To ease the process, the MTA and state DOT laid out a list of free designated park & ride lots for those seeking to carpool.

Citi Field Stadium will be open to parking on the south side of Roosevelt Ave, adjacent to the Grand Central Parkway. The $5 parking fee will be waived. In the event of an evening Mets game, the lot will be closed at noon. In the event of a daytime Mets game, the lot will be closed at 9 a.m. Commuters can connect to the 7 train.

Aqueduct Race Track will be open to parking along N Conduit Ave, adjacent to the Belt Parkway.
There is no fee for parking. Commuters can connect to the A train.

Park Near Subways: The MTA compiled a list of municipal parking lots across the five boroughs, but many have limits on the length you can park. Check the list for details.

How to Get Around By Cab

In the event of a strike, expect car services to be in short supply. However, some car services said they might be willing to allow ride shares with multiple passengers.

“I might try and put people together and take some money off the price, and make three or four drops off in the city,” said a dispatcher at the Queens Village Car Service.

The city's Taxi and Limousine Commission declined to say whether yellow cabs or the city's uptown and outerborough green cabs would be asked to take on multiple riders or providing additional service for commuters in Queens.

But city officials did say they would be speaking with taxi operators and other for-hire transportation services about plans to assist riders in the event of a strike.

“In the event of an LIRR work action, the City could take additional measures to ensure adequate transportation is available and would communicate with properly-licensed for-hire transportation providers about contingency plan operations that may impact the services they offer,” the TLC said in a statement.

TLC officials also declined to say whether the looming strike would affect their negotiations with the ride-sharing company Lyft, which has been locked in a court battle over adding their unlicensed drivers to the mix of city cabbies.

How to Get Around by Boat or Ferry

Seastreak Ferry from Glen Cove to East 34th Street: In the event of a strike, the MTA will offer free ferry service through the Seastreak Ferry between Glen Cove and East 34th Street in Manhattan for those with valid LIRR tickets.

The service, which takes approximately 40 minutes each way, will operate at peak times and in peak directions only, but the schedule is yet to be be determined. Ferries seat 500 seats each and seating will be first come first serve. Commuters can then connect to the M34 Select Bus Service.

Seastreak Ferry from Rockaway to Wall Street: Boats will leave beginning at 5:40 a.m., with stops at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Pier 11 at Wall Street in Lower Manhattan and East 34th Street along the FDR in Midtown. A one-way ticket costs $3.50.

For those commuters heading out to Long Island for work against the rush hour grain, the MTA says it has little to offer.

According to an MTA official, "there are no contingency plans for reverse commuting, or for mid-day or overnight travelers." According to the Regional Plan Association, a transit advocacy group, between 6,000 and 11,000 riders make the reverse commute out to Long Island on a daily basis.