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 2017: “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.
(I) What happened on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving last year?
- Before 1:00 PM – Things are generally OK
- 1:00 – 2:00 PM – Riders reported crowded NJT trains. LIRR likely just as bad at this time.
- 2:00 PM – Some delays flared up on NJT and LIRR trains
- 3:00 PM – Penn Stations was “packed”. Several trains described as Standing Room Only. Buses to NJ were crowded and Route 3 was slow.
- 4:00 PM – Long lines at Port Authority. A few LIRR connection-related delays. Some NJT trains were crowded to the point where people could not board.
- 5:00 PM – LIRR announced systemwide eastbound delays due to switch troubles. This was followed by scattered cancellations on several lines. NJT was fairly uneventful.
- 6:00 PM – Scattered delays and cancelled LIRR trains. Later in this hour, LIRR asserts that trains are on or close…but a few minutes after that, they announce known delays on 6 lines
- 7:00 PM and later – Things quiet down
(II) Clever Commute’s “SIX T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on getaway day:
1. [NEW] Technology – Think NOW about updating your apps, loading your e-Reader, charge your headphones, curate your your playlist, charge your device and consider a portable charger. Simple things that 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!