Getaway Day Advice: Thanksgiving 2017

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

  1. A look back at 2016: “What happened on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving 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 Wednesday before Thanksgiving last year?

  • In the 12:00 hour, terminals such as NY Penn and Grand Central were not crowded
    (nor were the trains!)
  • However: by 1:15 PM things changed. People reported it to be as crowded as a typical rush hour
  • In the 3:00 PM hour, riders at Port Authority shared news of long lines for buses
  • Passenger volume remained high through the evening rush until as late as 7:00 PM

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(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 Wednesday 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 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!