The potential for disaster with the impending Long Island Rail Road strike over the weekend is a far-reaching situation that would damage not only municipal revenue, but the earning potential for everyone who relies on the LIRR to get to work every day.
While the MTA has released suggested “contingency plans” to get around without the LIRR, if the union chooses to go on strike on Sunday, theses plans would create ridiculous inconveniences that would no doubt clog subway cars, buses and the roads into and out of the City beyond belief. And let’s not pretend that the City’s subways and buses have an extraordinary infrastructure that would easily handle the influx of straphangers.
With days until a potential strike, both sides seem to be focusing more on getting the public on their side by lambasting the other, through the media and ad campaigns. But finding new ways to lambast the other side and getting sympathy for their plight should be the lowest priority. No one wins if the LIRR is shuttered for a strike, and commuters will no doubt blame both the MTA and the Union if a strike carries on for too long.
We want to see an equitable agreement for both sides, but when the combatants in this little war refuse to sit down and work out a détente, it gets exceedingly more difficult to find a sympathetic face, outside of those who would have hours added to their morning commute. Congress has not intervened.
The Mayor and the Governor have not intervened, all hoping that the MTA and the union would find some middle ground. With days until the planned strike, perhaps it is time for our elected leaders to force their hand and make sure that an equitable deal is negotiated. Otherwise, too many other New Yorkers may be negatively affected.