standard Open Thread: Should Mayor de Blasio Be AWOL During a Transit Strike? (Updated)

A Long Island Railroad Train (Wikimedia Commons)

A Long Island Railroad Train (Wikimedia Commons)

UPDATEa strike has been averted after Governor Cuomo stepped in and negotiated with the unions and the MTA. Original story below.

A transit strike is set for Sunday. It’s the LIRR, not the subway–and therefore involving the MTA and Albany, not so much the Mayor. But still, the Mayor and his family will be on a two-week vacation to Italy. Some have issue with this:

Some question the timing of such a long vacation: first term, first year.

Others see the Mayor as powerless in this scenario, and find fault with the idea of his absence being to blame:

But reverberations will impact NYC:

And the Mayor being “on hand” could reassure people:

What do you think? Tweet us or e-mail us your thoughts (or just insert them in our comments sections) and we’ll build a story about the community’s reaction.

Readers comments:

Martha Hoffman Here’s one thing I think: Bloomberg could afford to take his weekend jaunts as often as he liked but people with less ample resources have to plan months in advance and aren’t going to go for only two days or cancel once they’ve paid for everything. Let the guy have his vacation. He’s got people on it here while he’s gone.

Nicole Snyder Dawson I really don’t think the mayor has any power here. Isn’t it up to Congress or Governor Cuomo?
Brandon Graham I definitely think the DeBlasios deserve a vacation, and they shouldn’t have to cancel it because the TWU and the MTA can’t come to an agreement. The MTA is a state agency, so there’s not much the mayor can do anyway. If the mayor is needed, I believe they do have phones and internet in Italy.
Sal Covarrubias A better question is “Should Cuomo be involved since MTA is a state agency?” The answer is yes. L.I. is not part of the 5 boroughs.
David Prince This is like getting mad at De Blasio for not doing enough about the rainforest.


  • Andriana Zacharakos

    De Blasio is the mayor of one of the largest cities in the world during a time in history with serious economic instability. Add one transportation strike to that mix and minus one politician, and New York has officially cooked the perfect recipe for a financial and societal tornado that may last as long day, a month, or a year(s).

    According to the Wall Street Journal, over 300,000 people ride the LIRR into NYC every single day. While no, De Blasio is no the mayor of Long Island, I find it utterly insane reading that some NYC residents aren’t comprehending the bigger picture. That is, the indirect impact that the strike will have on our fiscal economy:

    1 (a) Normal MTA service will be disrupted, as city officials plan to transport Long Island commuters via 350 shuttle buses to and from NYC.

    1 (b) Offering this shuttle service is extremely considerate of the MTA, but realistically speaking, a total of 350 buses will not hold 300,000 people. Even if it will, it is more likely that not everyone will take advantage of the shuttle, especially in the month of July. Long Island Teachers, Counselors, Students, etc. who are off from class during the summer are more than capable of giving their family a lift. In this case…

    2 (a) Good luck on the highways next week! Traffic, traffic, and more traffic… to already mount atop what New Yorkers already love to complain about most… TRAFFIC.

    2 (b) In the event that even a mere 100,000 of these 300,000 LI commuters decide to drive themselves into the city, you will not find a parking spot on a public street (not to argue in any way that this is unusual for NYC, because it isn’t), also driving the cost of private lot parking up (simple supply and demand).

    3 Not to mention that on a normal day, thousands of those LIRR commuters catch the subway from their LIRR stops, so the MTA is about to see a decrease in revenue. It will most likely be slight, considering the shuttle bus service, but it’s a decrease in earnings nonetheless!

    Please feel free to add to this list of potential issues and inconviencies that will be felt within the city of New York.

    While I understand that everyone needs a break sometimes (the man is only human, after all), I think it extremely irresponsible for the Mayor to travel outside the country at this very moment in time. That is, while being Mayor (for less than a year, mind) of a gigantic city with an already unbalanced economy that is about to be severely disconnected from over 300,000 NYC workers from neighboring Long Island. For a political figure of such a grand city, there may never be a good time to travel, but that is what he signed up for when he ran for the position. I agree with @Azi. Even if De Blasio believes that he would be of no use at all during the crisis, it would be intelligent, considerate, responsible of him to be in NYC just in case he is needed. That is just good politics.

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