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:
- A look back at 2017: “What happened on the Friday before the holiday 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 Memorial Day Weekend last year?
- 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
- 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..Tickets…TICKETS.
If you or your traveling companion will need a ticket, get it BEFORE Friday afternoon.
Lines are loooooong on getaway days.
Idea: LIRR, Metro North, NJ 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!