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MTA releases strike contingency plan as negotiations continue

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Riders should start thinking about alternatives to the Long Island Rail Road.

After meeting for five hours on Thursday, the MTA and LIRR labor coalition did not sit down on Friday. The MTA is reviewing the coalition's counter offer.

Both sides are available for informal conversations over the weekend and they plan further talks Monday.

In the meantime, the MTA released more detailed plan for commuters. It involves 350 school buses picking up commuters from seven LIRR stations and transporting them to three subway stations in Queens.

Free parking is being arranged at various spots. A free ferry from Glen Cove would also run to 34th Street in Manhattan. Thousands of workers are expected to telecommute.

HOV, or carpool, lanes would require three riders per vehicle, instead of two.

The MTA said New York and Long Island businesses have indicated about 18,000 employees will be allowed to work from home. All non-essential state employees will be allowed to telecommute.

Compete details can be found at mta.info.

Both sides remain optimistic they can work toward an agreement.