Everyone and their dog needs to get around (and out of) NYC to their families over the holidays, including the transit workers who have to work over Christmas and New Year’s. Here are the holiday service changes you can expect the rest of this year.
Subway Holiday Service Changes
On both Christmas and New Year’s Day, all subways will run according to Sunday schedules, which you can find a reminder about here. Many lines will not run express, and B and W trains will not run at all.
From 9:30 pm on December 28 to 5 am on January 7, J trains will not run between Jamaica Center and 121 Street, with free shuttle buses making stops at Jamaica-Van Wyck and 121 Street.
Between December 26 and 28, there will be no overnight L train service between Lorimer Street and 8 Avenue. Transit riders attempting to travel in that area between 10:30 pm and 5 am on those nights will have to use a shuttle bus in Brooklyn and the M14 bus in Manhattan.
As a part of the MTA’s Subway Action Plan, the 53 Street tunnel used by E and M trains between Manhattan and Queens will be closed between 4:45 am December 26 and 5 am December 31. E trains will run on the F line between Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue and West 4 Street, then continue normally. M trains, during the day, will operate between Metropolitan Avenue and Delancey/Essex Street, and run on the J line to and from Essex street. Overnight, the M will only run between Metropolitan and Myrtle Avenue.
Additionally, the MTA will close down the Queens Plaza R station, and free shuttle buses will run between that station, Court Square/23 Street and Queensbridge/21 Street stations.
Bus Holiday Service Changes
Buses in Manhattan will not stop on the 49 and 50 Street stops on both Fifth and Sixth Avenues. No bus affected by this change has another stop more than three blocks away, however. This will be in effect until January 5.
Air travelers rejoice, because the LaGuardia Link Q70 Special Bus Service will not require a fare or ticket between December 17 and January 1. M60 SBS, Q48 and Q72 buses, however, will not be free.
All bus travelers should be aware that New York City has marked Friday, December 21 as a Gridlock Alert day, so expect delays for any kind of road-level transit.
LIRR and Metro-North Holiday Service Changes
To accommodate for increased holiday traffic, the LIRR will be adding an additional 13 trains to its normal eastbound schedule from Penn Station on both December 21 and December 24. Exact schedules and destinations for these trains are available here. LIRR will operate on a normal weekday/holiday schedule on December 22, 23 and 25.
LIRR’s holiday Family Fare program is in effect, meaning that up to four children between the ages of 5 and 11 can ride one-way for $1 apiece, as long as they’re accompanied by a full-fare adult.
Metro-North will also be running additional trains departing from Grand Central beginning at 1 pm, though they warn that some evening trains may be combined or canceled due to lower ridership. Christmas Eve will have an expanded Saturday schedule, and Christmas Day will run a special holiday schedule, which you can check here.
Between Christmas and New Year’s, Metro-North will shift its schedule to run more trains during late morning, rather than AM Peak hours. Lastly, they will operate a reduced weekday schedule during morning and evening rush hours on New Year’s Eve, making up for this by adding trains in the late afternoon and early evening, as well as early morning service for New Year’s Day.
For West-of-Hudson travelers, Metro-North is also running “early getaway” trains, shifting Port Jervis- and Pascack Valley-bound train departures to 2:41 pm and 2:58 pm, respectively. To accommodate, the 6:15 and 5:58 trains on these lines are canceled.
Between December 21 and December 29, West-of-Hudson trains will run on normal schedules, with trains on Christmas Day running on their regular weekend/holiday schedule. December 30 will see extra early-morning trains to both Port Jervis and Pascack Valley after midnight. On New Year’s Eve, Metro-North will run a normal weekday schedule, with two extra early-morning trains running after the ball drops. The full schedule is available here.