Getaway Day Advice: July 4 Weekend 2015

As a service to commuters, we provide this getaway advice for those who are exiting NYC (via public transit) for the July 4 holiday. Read on for: 

  1. A look back at 2014: What happened on “The day before the July 4 weekend last year?”
  2. Clever Commute’s “FIVE T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on get-away day.

(1) What happened on “The day before the July 4 weekend last year?”

Commuter Trains Summary 

  • As usual, train riders from Grand Central had an easier “go” of things versus NY Penn Station riders
  • NY Penn Station riders reported VERY crowded conditions (in the station, ticket lines and on the trains) as early as 1:15 PM.
  • Trains stayed crowded until approx 4:00 PM

Bus Summary – Slow going between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Surprisingly good commute after that.

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(2) Clever Commute’s “FIVE T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on get-away Thursday for July 4, 2015:

1. Tickets – tickets..TicketsTICKETSGet them early!
If you or your traveling companion will need a ticket, get it BEFORE Thursday. Lines are loooooong on get-away days.
HINT: NJ Transit now has an app for tickets. So does NY Waterway! See your app store for details. 

2. Timing is crucial
You are advised to avoid NY Penn/Grand Central/Port Authority between 1:00 and 3:00 PM.
We expect a surge of commuters at that time.

3. Timetables and Schedule changes 
Visit your transit provider’s web site for up-to-date schedule schedules….including information about (extra) getaway day service

4. Terminal – Choose wisely
If it is at all within your control, avoid NY Penn Station.

  • NJT riders should consider Hoboken and/or Newark Penn
  • LIRR riders:  try Atlantic Terminal

5. Other Tips: 

  • Dress in layers – even if it’s not a hot day…the terminal or the trains can be warm
  • Bring water/snacks – save time…save money. Plan ahead.
  • “Baggage strategy” matters – There is going to be lots of luggage around on Thursday.
    Make your plan now…NOT on Thursday morning.

Have a great holiday!

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