NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The MTA is reaching out to private bus companies to help the agency in the event that the Long Island Rail Road goes on strike.

As WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported, the move has irked some members of the MTA board, who called it a provocative act as negotiations toward a labor deal continue.

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But MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast said the agency needs to be prepared in case drivers hit the picket line in July.

“Do I like hurricanes? Do I like bad winter events? No,” Prendergast said during Wednesday’s MTA board meeting. “But we have to have contingencies in place to plan for them in case they occur.”

The board rejected a measure that would have tabled the bus efforts, Murnane reported.

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Prendergast noted that bus and subway workers are reviewing a tentative deal.

“In a short period of time, conditions can change, and things can happen,” he said. “And that’s the spirit in which we’re entering into the further dialogue with the Long Island Rail Road coalition.”

Hundreds of buses could be needed in the thick of the summer tourism season.

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