As a service to commuters, we provide this getaway advice for those who are exiting NYC (via public transit) for Thanksgiving. Read on for:
- A look back at 2018: “What happened on the Wednesday 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 Wednesday before Thankgiving 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.
- The early getaway was not bad: Between 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM, there were scattered issues on Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches
- But the traditional commute saw “one of everything”…announced systemwide
- 5:21 PM a medical issue
- 6:01 PM (and re-stated at 6:23 PM) signal issues
- 7:07 PM – slippery rail
- 8:40 PM – LIRR announces things are finally on or close
After some small noontime issues, primarily in the branches, the main 3 lines had fairly-uneventful afternoons (although those traveling near Southeast were affected by debris on track)
Metro North was also affected (6:51 PM) by the slippery rail condition announced by LIRR at 7:07 PM
NJ Transit Trains
- Nothing out of the ordinary until 2:00 PM or so…but then the crowds took their toll
- 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM, riders used the word packed to describe several trains
- Between 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM, conditions worsened. A handful of cancels, and very crowded conditions
- 4:45 PM – Northeast Corridor experiences overhead wire problem..and things deteriorated further
- 5:15 PM – NJT announces
- NEC and NJCL service is suspended in both directions
- cross-honoring is in place
- 6:01 PM – NJT announces NEC and NJCL service resumes with 60-min delays
…but commutes share news that every train listed at NYP is on STAND BY
- 8:16 PM – The NEC and NJCL delays are now announced as 30-min
…and by 9:30 PM, things seem back to normal
Hoboken was consistently reported to be a good option throughout the day
- 2:54 PM – PABT announced The PA Bus Term for Departures (NJ-bound) is experiencing a delay due to the general volume of traffic.
- It was a crowded, but not terrible PM bus commute. By 6:00 PM, things were fairly quiet.
(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 Friday 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 their 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!