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 2018: “What happened on the day before the holiday last year?“
- Clever Commute’s “SIX T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on get-away day.
(1) What happened on the day before July 4 last year?
Overall: things were good before 1:00 PM. Conditions deteriorated in the 1:00 hour.
See carrier-specific notes below for details about what happened on your commute.
- Just after 1:00 PM – Vehicle striking a LIRR bridge east of Merillon (Ronk branch) gets the afternoon off to an odd start with delayed inbound trains. These inbound delays continued for a few hours
- 4:00 to 8:00 PM – Signal troubles outside East River Tunnel
- 6:22 PM – Switch problem at Jamaica
- 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM – Reports of congestion due to earlier signal problem
- 8:20 PM – LIRR announces “on or close”
- Also: Starting before 6:00 PM, the Port Jefferson branch experience a track conditon near Northport
- 1:36 PM – Police activity in Bridgeport snarls New Haven line
- 4:46 PM – Harlem Line single tracking caused delays…which were not officially “clear” until 7:30 PM
NJ Transit Trains
- By 4:00 PM, trains were described as “packed”
- 6:25 PM – NJT announced delays of 20 min in/out due to signal problems
Hoboken was consistently reported to be a good option throughout the day
It was an OK evening commute…despite a downed power line on Route 3
(2) Here are Clever Commute’s “SIX T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on getaway day:
1. Technology – Think and plan NOW. Update your apps, load your e-Reader, charge your headphones, curate your playlist, charge your device and consider a portable charger.
Theses simple things can greatly reduce stress.
2. Tickets – tickets..Tickets…TICKETS.
If you or your traveling companion will need a ticket, get it BEFORE Wednesday afternoon.
Lines are loooooong on getaway days.
Idea: LIRR, Metro North, NJ Transit and NY Waterway all have ticket apps!
3. Timing is crucial
Use the re-cap above as a guide…but add some padding to be safe.
4. 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.
5. Terminal – Choose wisely
- If it is at all within your control, avoid NY Penn Station.
- NJT riders: consider Hoboken and/or Newark Penn
- LIRR riders: consider Atlantic Terminal or Hunterspoint Avenue
6. 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 Wednesday.
- Pick/Pack your bag early and lightly!
- Make your plan now…Do NOT wait until Wednesday morning to start thinking about this.
Have a great holiday!