Long Island Rail Strike Looms Large
Will Impact JFK AirTrain Access
With ten days remaining before a threatened walkout, there was no reported progress in reaching a deal between Long Island Rail Road unions and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday.
Workers of the Long Island Rail Road are likely to go on strike if their unions do not agree on a contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the railroad, on July 20. The strike would affect roughly 300,000 weekday riders of the commuter railroad, as well as all of the summer weekend travelers and those who use the line to get to John F. Kennedy International Airport’s AirTran.
Prior to the start of Thursday’s negotiations, Anthony Simon, a union leader with the United Transportation Union, told reporters that he hopes the MTA has “the same ideas,” explaining, “We’re looking to prevent work stoppage.” After five hours of negotiation on Thursday, MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast told reporters that the day’s discussions were useful.
The strike will impact the many travelers who travel both from Manhattan and points east on Long Island to Jamaica Station to catch the AirTrain to JFK. The AirTrain a 3-line, 8.1-mile (13-kilometer) rail system that connects the airport’s terminals to the railroad.
As July 20 draws closer, the transportation authority has begun issuing warnings of the possible disruption to riders. Established in 1834, the Long Island Rail Road, which is not only the nation’s busiest commuter railroad, but also the oldest railroad in the U.S. still operating under its original name, has 24 stations and more than 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) of track.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)
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