The holiday will bring myriad changes to New York’s streets,
subways, buses, and more
Brace yourselves, New Yorkers: Whether you’re sticking around
town for the Thanksgiving holiday, or planning to get out of town
for the weekend, your commute is going to be affected.
The myriad transit methods available in the city—subway, bus,
commuter rail, you name it—will have schedule changes in effect.
Wednesday is one of the busiest travel days of the year, and is
also one of the city’s
gridlock alert days, when traffic is expected to be at its
And it’s not just people leaving town for the holiday that you
have to worry about: The
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will also affect transit
service, as will the consumerist nightmare known as
But if you don’t have the option of staying in your apartment
all weekend, we’ve got you covered: Here’s everything you need
to know about service changes this week on subways, buses,
airports, streets, and more.
On Thursday, the subway to operate on a Sunday schedule, meaning
there will be less frequent service, and there will be changes to
various lines. The MTA has outlined what that means
here. The Staten Island Railway will be running on a Saturday
The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will cause major
drama at some subway stations on Thursday, mostly on Manhattan’s
west side; some exits at 59th Street-Columbus Circle will be
closed, as will some at Penn Station. Trains might also skip the
72nd Street B/C station because of crowding from the parade.
After the holiday, the subway reverts back to normal
service—though “normal” is relative when it comes to the MTA,
and there will be plenty of service changes taking you through the
rest of the weekend. The MTA’s Weekender guide has
details on those.
And on a fun note: The New York
Transit Museum’s special vintage holiday trains
begin running again this weekend; they’ll travel between
Second Ave and 47-50th Streets–Rockefeller Center on the F line,
and then along the D from Seventh Avenue up to 125th Street in
Harlem. Trains begin running at 10 a.m. and the last one leaves
Harlem at 5 p.m.
Buses will also operate on a Sunday schedule on Thursday; plan
accordingly. Because of the parade, some bus stops in Midtown and
on the Upper West Side will have service affected, and the 79th
Street transverse will be closed for 24 hours beginning at noon on
Wednesday. The balloon
inflation will also cause service disruptions.
There are also broader changes in effect for Manhattan and
Queens bus service during the holiday season, particularly around
Rockefeller Center; the MTA has outlined those
If you rely on the bus to get to and from LaGuardia Airport,
then good news: the MTA and the Port Authority will offer
free service along the Q70’s Select Bus Route, which operates
between the airport and several subway stations in Queens. The
buses go from LGA to the 61 St-Woodside subway station on the 7,
and the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av stop, which services the E, F,
M, R, and 7 lines.
Touhey Metro-North and LIRR
Both the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road will be running
extra trains on Wednesday to accommodate folks getting out of town
for the holiday, and service changes will be in effect throughout
the week. Here’s how that’ll look for each one:
There will be extra trains running on Wednesday beginning at 1
p.m., and additional trains into and out of Manhattan on Thursday
for parade-goers. On Thursday and Friday, trains will be operating
on a Saturday schedule. Trains will run as they normally do on
Saturday and Sunday. All your timetable and schedules for those can
LIRR: There will be extra
trains running on Wednesday beginning around 1 p.m., as well as
additional trains into and out of Manhattan on Thursday for
parade-goers. On Thursday, LIRR trains will operate on a
holiday/weekend schedule, but they will go back to normal on
Friday. LIRR is also adding extra weekend train service throughout
the holiday season, leading right up to Christmas. All your
timetables and schedules for those can be found
New Jersey Transit
plenty of changes to NJT service over the weekend, chief among
them the addition of early “getaway” service, similar to what
the Metro-North is offering, on Wednesday; trains will begin
running from Penn Station at 1 p.m. to accommodate holiday
travelers. There will also be additional buses running on some
lines from Port Authority beginning at 12:30 p.m.; best to
check the NJT website for full details.
On Thursday, trains will operate on a weekend schedule (with
extra service because of the parade), while bus service will vary
by route. On Friday, trains will run on their normal weekday
service, with additional trains into NYC for Black Friday.
There are lots of changes to
NJT buses on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; should you want
to spend Black Friday at a mall in New Jersey (and if you do, why),
there will be extra buses running to and from seven different
shopping centers. The NJT
website has all the details.
PATH trains will operate on
a Saturday schedule on Thanksgiving day, and a modified weekday
schedule on the day after Thanksgiving. There aren’t too many
other details available, but the PATH Twitter account is
a good place to check for updates.
The day before Thanksgiving is historically one of the most
hectic travel days of the year—and New York’s airports won’t
be immune to chaos. Both LGA and
have been blasting out travel tips via Twitter, which boil down to
the basics: arrive earlier than you think you need to; take
transportation (use that free Q70 service!); be prepared with
your boarding pass; you know the drill.
Heads up travelers:
Passenger volumes during the
#Thanksgiving travel period are expected to be higher this year
than 2017 totals so the TSA recommends arriving early – 2 hours
prior to domestic departures and 3 hours prior to international
— Kennedy Airport (@JFKairport)
November 18, 2018
You can also check out the wait times at different security
gates at NYC’s various airports through the TSA app.
NYC Ferry service will operate on a weekend
schedule on Thursday. Unrelated to Thanksgiving, the South
Williamsburg ferry landing will be closed from November 23 to 25 to
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will, of course, bring
plenty of street closures to Manhattan on Thursday; check ‘em all
The DOT’s weekly traffic advisory also lists any potential
street closures or service changes, which you can find here.
The city’s official street closures map can be found here, although the Macy’s
parade (and the balloon inflation) are the two biggest things going
Alternate side parking will be suspended on Thanksgiving
Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Everything you need to know about getting around NYC over Thanksgiving