News Column

Millions Come from Jersey to Getaway

Nov. 21, 2012

Larry Higgs

Today is Thanksgiving getaway day: likely to be the busiest day for the holiday weekend travel -- and mass transit agencies are gearing up with increased bus and rail service today, as well as Thursday, for those going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

The Department of Transportation said it does not know how many people will be on Route 80 or Route 287, but New Jersey Turnpike Authority officials predict 6.7 million people will travel on the Garden State Parkway and 3.7 million on the Turnpike between today and Monday.

Today will be the busiest travel day with 1,297,600 vehicles traveling the Parkway and 747,100 using the Turnpike, said Tom Feeney, Turnpike Authority spokesman.

Drivers are advised to leave plenty of travel time and check the NJ511 website for real-time traffic information.

NJ Transit will have additional "early getaway" rail service from New York, Penn Station, Newark Penn Station and Hoboken Terminal starting at 1 p.m. on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast (only to Long Branch), Raritan Valley and Morris & Essex (from New York only) lines. Getaway train times will be announced this morning at www.njtransit.com

Bus schedules vary by route -- customers are advised to check their timetables or visit njtransit.com for schedule information.

Selected routes will operate on special holiday schedules to match service with ridership demand, including early getaway service from the Port Authority Bus Terminal between noon and 4 p.m. to accommodate the heaviest travel.

Port Authority officials expect 600,000 riders to use the midtown Manhattan bus terminal during the five-day holiday weekend, and will have extra workers on hand to help. Extra toll collectors will be at the bridges and tunnels and PATH will run extra trains to the parade.

Early getaway service from Port Authority Bus Terminal and Newark Penn Station will start at 1:30 p.m. Service will operate on a load-and-go basis until 8 p.m.

For riders traveling to and from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NJ Transit will add extra trains on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast (between Long Branch and New York only), Raritan Valley, Morris & Essex lines. The Gladstone Branch remains suspended.

NJ Transit also will offer service on Thanksgiving Day from Hoboken to the Jets-Patriots game and on Sunday for the Giants-Packers game at MetLife Stadium. Service begins at 4:30 p.m. from Hoboken. The last train from MetLife stadium to Hoboken will not depart any earlier than 12:40 a.m.

Officials recommend airline passengers arrive 30 minutes earlier than the recommended arrival time.



Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c) 2012 Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.)


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