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:
- A look back at 2016: “What happened on the Friday evening before July 4th Weekend last year?“
- Clever Commute’s “FIVE T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on get-away day.
(1) What happened on the Friday before July 4 last year?
Commuter Trains Summary
- NY Penn Station riders reported crowds as early as 1:15 PM
- Grand Central reported crowds in the 2:00 hour
- Passenger volume remained high in the 3:00 and 4:00 hours (crowds in the station, long ticket lines)
- Between 4:00 and 5:00 PM, riders generally reported fairly normal conditions
Bus riders at Port Authority also had a tough afternoon.
Accidents in the 4:00, 5:00 and 6:00 hours each delayed NJ-bound commuters
(2) Here are Clever Commute’s “FIVE T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on get-away day:
1. Tickets – tickets..Tickets…TICKETS.
If you or your traveling companion will need a ticket, get it BEFORE Friday afternoon.
Lines are loooooong on get-away days.
💡 LIRR, Metro North, NJ Transit and NY Waterway all have ticket apps!
2. Timing is crucial
For those who use NY Penn, we expect this year’s commute to be worse than last. Use the re-cap above as a guide…but add some padding to be safe.
3. Timetables and Schedule changes
LIRR, Metro North and NJ Transit will provide (extra) getaway day service…but all 3 have date-specific trip planners on thier sites.
4. Terminal – Choose wisely
If it is at all within your control, avoid NY Penn Station.
We include that guidance with every “getaway” briefing we do. But due to the ongoing Amtrak work, it’s especially true now.
- NJT riders: consider Hoboken and/or Newark Penn
- LIRR riders: consider Atlantic Terminal or Hunterspoint Avenue
5. Other Tips:
- Dress in layers – 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 Friday.
Pick/Pack your bag early and lightly!
- Make your plan now…Do NOT wait until Friday morning to start thinking about this.
Have a great holiday!