The MTA Board voted 8 to 4 to give MTA staff the permission to request information from bus companies that may be able to offer bus service in the event of a strike by workers on the Long Island Railroad.
MTA Board Memeber Chuck Moerdler said this was an aggressive act of “provocation” against LIRR workers.
Other board members believe they have a responsibility to prepare for potential problems.
A coalition of LIRR unions voted in February to authorize a strike if necessary.
At a media briefing after the meeting, MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast says the agency has to be ready for contingencies. MTA buses would not be able to handle the 300,000 riders who use the LIRR everyday.
The Union and MTA are currently negotiating before a federal review board.
Antony Simon, the General Chairman of the local ATU which is the LIRR’s largest labor union, says “The labor organizations on LIRR will keep it’s focus on preventing a strike and the agency will do what they do to focus on provoking one.”
The federal review board will issue another recommendation at the end of May. No other action could happen before July 19th.