Thanksgiving week is upon us to get the 2017 holiday season officially underway, and with the holiday comes changes to MTA service.
From some free bus service to vintage rides, here’s what to expect this week as you’re trying to get home for the holiday using the city’s mass transit.
With AAA predicting that roughly 49 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving, the city’s roadways are sure to be a nightmare. To help ease congestion, the MTA is offering free rides on the Q70 Select Bus Service LaGuardia Link. The free fares kicked off on Friday and will continue through Sunday. The Q70 connects the 7, E, F, M and R subways and the Long Island Rail Road to LaGuardia’s B, C and D terminals.
Though you may be riding for free, be sure to give yourself ample time to get to the airport what with the holiday traffic and the ongoing construction near the facility.
For more info on MTA’s airport service, visit mta.info/nyct/service/airport.
• LIRR/Metro-North Railroad
Both railroads will have extra early afternoon train service Wednesday, and from Thursday to Sunday, they will offer off-peak fares and additional trains.
The city’s subway system will run on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day.
The 57th Street F train station will be closed for entry and exit from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. To avoid overcrowding, some entrances at 34th Street-Herald Square (B, D, F, M, N, Q, R and W); 34th Street-Penn Station (1, 2, 3); 59th Street-Columbus Circle (1, A, B, C, D) and 72nd Street (B, C) will be closed or designated as exit-only.
For those interested in being in the thick of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the nearest subway stations to the start of the route are 79th Street (1), 81st Street (B, C) and Columbus Circle (1, A, B, C, D). There will be additional morning service on the 1 and S 42nd Street Shuttle to accommodate spectators.
Buses will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day, and riders should check that schedule at mta.info as many routes do not have Sunday service or do not operate at certain hours.
As the M7, M10, M11 and M79 SBS run near the Thanksgiving Day Parade route, passengers can expect delays in those areas.
Friday will operate under normal weekday schedules, though the agency warned of “some exceptions.” Check mta.info for specifics.
• Vintage subway
Thanksgiving weekend kicks off the MTA’s annual holiday tradition of running vintage buses and subways for just the swipe of a MetroCard.
On Sundays from Nov. 26 through Christmas Eve, the eight-car “Shoppers Special” will operate on the Second Avenue Subway line from the 96th Street Q station to Lexington Avenue/63rd Street F and Q station. It will then make local stops along the Sixth Avenue B, D, F and M line to the 2nd Avenue F stop.
The first run leaves at 10 a.m. from 2nd Avenue and the last departs 96th Street at 5 p.m.
• Vintage buses
Starting on Monday, Dec. 4, the MTA’s vintage bus fleet on the M42 route will run through Dec. 22, operating on the crosstown route weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. if weather permits.
• Staten Island Railway
The SIR will offer earlier express train service Wednesday beginning at 2:30 p.m. from St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express and one local train awaiting every ferry until 7:50 p.m.
The SIR will run on a Saturday schedule on Thanksgiving Day.
Visit mta.info for complete status updates.