MTA and Long Island officials said Friday that Glen Cove’s currently unused ferry terminal could be used for special service purposes in the case of a strike.
In addition to shuttle buses that would carry up to 15,000 to subway stops in Queens and carpool areas on Long Island, the Glen Cove Ferry Terminal could load up to 1,000 commuters towards Manhattan, according to Newsday.
Employees may go on strike as early as Sunday, July 20.
The strike would be the result of unsuccessful negotiations between the MTA and labor unions representing LIRR employees. The MTA has offered 17% raises over seven years for about 5,400 LIRR employees which includes retroactive pay, according to the Wall Street Journal. In return, the MTA wants employees to contribute 2 percent towards health-care coverage, of which they currently contribute nothing.
But what looks to be the deal killer for unions is that the MTA wants new employees to contribute 4 percent to their health-care and continued contributions to their pensions beyond 10 years of employment at the LIRR. As a professor of labor studies is quoted in the WSJ story, “it potentially pits members against each other”, or weakens the legitimacy of the union.
The unions should be careful here. If the zero hour is reached and New Yorkers are forced to seek alternatives, human ingenuity will prevail. In other words, it’s not the legitimacy of just the union at stake, but also of government-run railroads that expend more than they take in and pass on costs to non-commuting taxpayers and small businesses. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which is essentially rail-like bus service has already been implemented on several bus routes in New York, and we believe BRT, with its fractional capital costs and much greater flexibility will be the transportation of the future.
From the NYC website:
Select Bus Service is New York City’s version of Bus Rapid Transit: an improved bus service that offers fast, frequent, and reliable service on high-ridership bus routes. Completed in much less time and at much lower cost than subways—which take years to construct and require expensive up-front infrastructure and equipment—Select Bus Service offers a more immediate improvement to New York City’s transit network benefitting the entire city through improved mobility, cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced congestion.
Designed to provide rail-like service, Select Bus Service uses techniques and technologies such as dedicated bus lanes, off-board fare collection and transit signal priority to improve the quality and performance of transit and, in turn, to improve mobility and access in the neighborhoods that it serves.