Getaway Day Advice: Memorial Day 2018

As a service to commuters, we provide this getaway advice for those who are exiting NYC (via public transit) for Memorial Day Weekend. Read on for:

  1. A look back at 2017: “What happened on the Friday before the holiday 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 Friday before Memorial Day Weekend last year?

Trains

  • Before 1:00 PM – Things are generally OK
  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM – The stations fill with both commuters and tourists
  • 2:00 PM – By this time, many reports of crowds, luggage and Standing Room Only
  • 3:45 PM – LIRR officially announces delays due to high passenger volume
  • 6:00 PM – MetroNorth riders exasperated by delays on New Haven line…and even a cancelled 6:07 PM departure from GCT

Buses:

  • 12:30 PM – Reports of long lines at PABT
  • 2:30 PM – Consistent messages from the commuters regarding large crowds / long lines
  • 3:00 PM – A disabled outbound bus made things worse. A rider said PABT lines pretty bad

(2) Here are Clever Commute’s “FIVE T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on getaway day:

1. Tickets – tickets..TicketsTICKETSGet them early!
If you or your traveling companion will need a ticket, get it BEFORE Friday afternoon.
Lines are loooooong on getaway days.
Idea: LIRR, Metro NorthNJ Transit and NY Waterway all have ticket apps!

2. Timing is crucial
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.
  • 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!