How to get around NYC and Long Island in case of LIRR strike

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Thousands of Long Island Rail Road workers could strike at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, leaving more than 300,000 daily rail riders in a lurch to find alternative transportation.

PIX11’s traffic reporter Kaitlin Monte outlines the best ways to get around the city in case of a work stoppage:

Subways will be packed

  • All subway lines in Brooklyn and Queens should expect extra volume from displaced LIRR commuters. This includes the A, E, B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, J, Z, L, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 lines. Here are our tips:
  • The A, E, F and 7 expected to see heaviest ridership
  • Purchase MetroCards in advance to avoid lines. $5 and $25 cards are sold at all LIRR ticket officers. To locate a MetroCard vendor using your address, go here
  • Trains will be slow, so plan for extra time
  • Travel light, avoid big bags if possible, and be courteous with backpacks by hold them by your side while on the train

Parking will fill up fast, in every neighborhood

  • Citi Field is waiving parking fees is adjacent to the 7 subway line. Check the Mets Schedule before you go, as lots will close to new commuters by 9AM for afternoon games and 12pm for evening games.
  • Aqueduct Race Track will offer free parking and access to the A subway line.
  • A full list of municipal parking facilities is available here
  • If you park on the street, remember that alternate side parking and meter rules will be in effect throughout the city

Take a bus to the subway

Various bus routes have been set up specifically for LIRR commuters. This is in addition to regular MTA bus service. Expect crowded buses. Here are some of the routes:

  • Great Neck, Manhasset, Greenvale and Hicksville LIRR riders, take N20 buses to the 7 train at Flushing Main Street. Sea Cliff LIRR riders, take the N21 (full details)
  • Murray Hill, Broadway, Auberndale, bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck LIRR riders can take Q12, Q13, or Q28 buses to the 7 train at Flushing Main Street Station, or the QM3 via Northern Blvd directly to Midtown in Manahttan  (full details )
  • Queens Village LIRR riders can take Q1 or Q36 buses to the 179th Street F train (full details )
  • Hollis LIRR riders, take Q2 buses to the 179th Street F train, or the Q110 to the E, J and Z trains (full details )
  • St Albans LIRR riders, take Q4 buses to the Jamaica Center E, J and Z trains (full details)
  • Locust Manor LIRR riders, take Q85 buses to the Jamaica Center E, J and Z trains (full details)
  • Long Beach LIRR riders, take N33 to the A train at Far Rockaway (full details )
  • Inwood, Lawrence, Cederhurst, Woodmere, Hewlett, Lynbrook, Malverne, Franklyn Square, West Hempstead and Hempstead customers can take N31/N32 service to the A train at Far Rockaway (full details )
  • In Queens, most LIRR stations are adjacent to alternative bus and subway service, including express bus services directly into Manhattan.  Eastern/Central Queens riders can see full bus service details

Hop on a commercial bus

  • 7 Bus (Riverhead, Ronkonkoma and Melville)
  • Bolt Bus (Riverhead, Ronkonkoma and Huntington)
  • Hampton Jitney (Amagansett, E. Hampton, Wainscott, B’hampton, Water Mill, S’hampton, Manorville)
  • Go Bus (Glen Cove & Roslyn)
  • Hampton Luxury Liner (Amagansett, E. Hampton, Wainscott, B’hampton, Water Mill S’hampton)
  • NICE Bus

Ridesharing is a good idea

Fewer cars mean less congestion on the roads.  Talk to coworkers, neighbors and friends to arrange a carpool plan, or connect with other commuters at There are designated ride share staging areas but they will fill up quickly (full details and directions here):

  • Nassau County drivers can use carpool parking/staging areas at Belmont Lake State Park (656 carpool spots,) Hempstead Lake State Park (398 carpool spots,) and Valley Stream State Park (352 carpool spaces.)
  • Suffolk County can use carpool/staging areas at Farmingdale State College (1,000 carpool spots,) Heckscher State Park (2,500 carpool spots,) Sunken Meadow State Park (3,000 carpool spots,) and Valley Stream State Park (352 carpool spaces.)
  • HOV lanes will require 3 passengers

Beware the bridges and tunnels

Roadways and toll plazas will be maximized to handle additional volume, but delays are inevitable. Our tips for getting through:

  • Use EZPass to save time
  • No-toll bridges will be heaviest, such as the 59th Street Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and Williamsburg Bridge
  • Toll rates are $7.50 for the RFK, Throggs Neck, and Whitestone bridges as well as the Queens-Midtown and Brooklyn-Battery tunnels

Additional Ferry service will be set up, but limited

  • Ferry service will be the least claustrophobic thanks to ship capacity restrictions. Plus, it’s a gorgeous time of year to hop a boat. In addition to existing commuter ferry service, there are plans to add additional trips to help get commuters to Midtown.
  • East River Ferry to 34th Street in Manhattan is available from Long Island City, Greenpoint, South Williamsburg, DUMBO and Pier 11 (full details)
  • Seastreak Ferry will run special service between Glen Cove and East 34th Street in Manhattan, but details are still pending
  • Arrive early to snag a spot in line
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