LIRR unions workers may strike the railroad on July 20 unless their demands are met by the MTA, leaving more than 300,000 daily commuters looking for other means of transportation.
With the impending Long Island Rail Road strike less than two weeks away, Valley Stream residents are preparing for what could be longer commutes. Some residents have plans in place should a strike occur, while others are still trying to figure out how they would get to work, and some said they would worry about it if and when a strike happens.
Herman Abdul, who works in the finance industry, said he has not given a lot of thought to how he might get to work. If there is a strike, he said, his commute time would increase. “I have no idea what I’d do,” he said. “I’d probably take the bus. It’s a big inconvenience for me.”
Sima Casillo, a government worker in downtown Manhattan, said she is trying to figure out her commute in the case of a strike. “I will not drive, as I heard traffic will be severe and parking limited in Manhattan and surrounding areas,” she said. “This will be a nightmare.”
Casillo said she hopes to work out of Queens, pending her employer’s approval. She said she wants to be compensated for any unused days on her monthly train ticket, and added that because of the frequent tardiness and condition of the trains, she’s not on the side of the potential strikers.
“I would be more sympathetic to the LIRR employees if my trains were clean and on time,” she said. “They aren’t, and it has gotten really bad.”
Naeem Bawla, an attorney who works in the city, said that he was not yet worried about the strike, and that if and when it occurs, he has a tentative plan in place. “I’d probably just connect through home, most likely,” he said.
Some residents, like Patricia Sanchez, an executive assistant in the city, said that a strike would not have much of an effect on their commutes. “Usually I drive into Queens to take the subway,” Sanchez said, “because there’s always complications with the trains, especially in the winter.”