Thanksgiving mass transit: What you need to know

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Thanksgiving holiday kicks off the busiest travel time of the year, and that usually means commuter headaches.

New Jersey Transit, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North are making plans for customers to unite with family and friends, travel to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, or get started on holiday shopping at various malls throughout the state.

New Jersey Transit:

NJ Transit will offer "early getaway" rail and bus service on Wednesday, November 27, and provide additional capacity for customers traveling to Newark Liberty International Airport.

On Wednesday, November 27, NJ Transit's "Family SuperSaver Fare" will go into effect at 7 p.m. and will allow up to two children age 11 and under to ride for free until 6 a.m. on Monday, December 2.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 28, NJ Transit will add extra trains and buses to the schedule in the morning and midday hours to accommodate customers traveling to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

There will be enhanced bus service on Black Friday to shopping centers throughout New Jersey, and additional trains will operate to and from Penn Station New York.

For complete schedule and fare information, visit


The LIRR will provide extra Thanksgiving train service beginning Wednesday.

On Thanksgiving Day, trains will run on a Weekend/Holiday schedule with the addition of six westbound trains in the morning and 11 eastbound trains in the afternoon for those heading to/from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

On Black Friday, November 27, the LIRR will operate on a regular Weekday Schedule, but lower, offpeak fares will be accepted all day.

The LIRR will add four westbound trains and six eastbound trains to its regular weekend schedule on Saturday, November 29, and Sunday, November 30. Remember, weekend fares are always off-peak.

"The MTA moves 8.5 million people on a normal weekday, and we're preparing to handle new customers at new times throughout the coming weekend, with customer ambassadors at major hubs and lots of extra train service at key times," MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said. "The MTA's digital trip planning and real-time information tools make it easier than ever to travel with us."

For complete schedule and fare information, visit


On Wednesday, November 27, Metro-North will provide "early getaway trains," which begin departing Grand Central Terminal at around 1 p.m.

On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, Metro-North will operate an enhanced Sunday schedule with additional inbound trains and cars for those of you heading to the 9 a.m. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

On Friday, November 29, there will be an enhanced Saturday schedule with additional a.m. inbound and p.m. outbound trains.

Saturday and Sunday, November 30 and December 1, Metro-North will provide regular weekend schedules with additional capacity on trains.

For complete schedule and fare information, visit

Staten Island Railway:

Staten Island Railway customers looking to get a head start on the Thanksgiving Day holiday will be able to catch earlier afternoon express train service on Wednesday, Nov. 27, with MTA Staten Island Railway's Early Departure Getaway schedule. Extra SIR trains will be added earlier in the afternoon beginning at 2:30 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m.

The Staten Island Railway will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Friday.

NYC Bus Service:

To encourage the use of mass transit and to ease congestion on New York City streets during the Thanksgiving holiday, the MTA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are offering free rides on the Q70 Select Bus Service (SBS) LaGuardia Link from Monday, Nov. 25, to Monday, Dec. 2.

The Q70 SBS connects the subway lines and LIRR to LaGuardia Terminals B, C and D. Stops for Q70 SBS LaGuardia Link are distinctly marked outside LIRR's Woodside Station/61 St-Woodside subway station and the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave/74 St-Broadway subway station complex.

All bus service in Manhattan may experience delays on Thursday, and will be affected by reroutes, detours, and/or frozen zones, especially those routes operating in Midtown near the parade route such as the BxM2, M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M7, M10, M11, M12, M20, M31, M34 SBS, M34A SBS, M42, M50, M55, M57, M66, M72, M79 SBS, M104, Q32, QM2, QM4, QM5, QM6, SIM1c, SIM3c, SIM4c, and SIM33c. The 79th Street Transverse will be closed from noon Wednesday, Nov. 27, to noon Thursday, Nov. 28, and buses will not be permitted to cross during this time. Details will be provided at under "Service Status."

On Black Friday, Nov. 29, New York City buses will operate on a weekday schedule with some exceptions. On Staten Island, S81 Ltd, S84 Ltd, S86 Ltd, S90 Ltd, S91 Ltd, S92 Ltd, S94 Ltd, S96 Ltd, and S98 Ltd will not run; also, in Queens, Q4 Ltd (AM from subway), Q6 Ltd, Q25 Ltd, and Q65 Ltd will not run. Local service will be available on these routes.

A special schedule will be in effect for express bus routes run by the MTA Bus Company. Visit to view this special schedule and plan your trip accordingly. All other local, express, limited-stop, and Select Bus Service will run with minor adjustments in departure times.

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