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The MTA is the Best Way to the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Updated Mar 14, 2023 12:30 p.m.

LIRR Adding Extra Trains to and from Manhattan Before and After Parade

Alcohol Will Be Banned on LIRR and Metro-North Trains from 5:00 a.m. Friday, Through 12:00 p.m. Saturday

New York City Subway's Lexington Avenue Line   Has Station Stops Along Full Parade Route

Customers Are Encouraged to Check new.mta.info, MYmta and TrainTime Prior to Traveling 


New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Friday, March 17 at 11:00 a.m., and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is the best way to get there. The parade has been a New York City staple since 1762, and the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world. The parade route runs along Fifth Avenue, starting at E. 44th Street and ending at E. 79th Street.  The popular parade typically draws about 2 million spectators and about 150,000 marchers, including MTA employees.  

The MTA has a proud tradition of participating in the parade going back decades. The MTA will be represented at this year’s parade by members of the New York City Transit and Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA) Emerald Societies. Michael J. Quill, who helped found the Transport Workers Union of America in 1934, heavily encouraged Emerald Society members to march, and they have marched in the parade ever since.

“The MTA is proud to be represented in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities every year, and we want to make sure as many of our colleagues, both participating in the parade or simply watching, can get there safely,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “The subway has plenty of stops along the parade route, and buses can drop you off nearby. For those who are not parade planning, still check our website or the MYmta app to make sure your trip is not impacted.” 

“Grand Central Terminal is a short walk from the parade’s starting point, making Metro-North or the LIRR a great travel option,” said Metro-North Railroad President and Long Island Rail Road Interim President Catherine Rinaldi. “To provide even more travel options and reduce crowding where possible, the LIRR will have extra trains before and after the parade. For those celebrating, enjoy the holiday with friends and family and allow us to do the driving.”

For those participating in the parade, and those looking to watch, the MTA is the safest and reliable way to get you there. Grand Central Terminal, which now serves both Metro-North Railroad and the LIRR, leaves customers minutes from the parade. New York City Subway’s Lexington Avenue Line covers the full parade route, with stations a short walk to Fifth Ave. 

See below for information regarding the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade: 

Alcohol Ban on Commuter Railroads and Staten Island Railway 

The Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Staten Island Railway will implement a ban on alcoholic beverages from Friday, March 17, at 5:00 a.m. through Saturday, March 18, at 12:00 p.m. on all trains and at stations. Customers in violation could receive a summons and be ejected from the system. 

Alcohol consumption and open alcoholic containers are always unauthorized throughout the subway system. 

LIRR Adding Extra Trains Before and After Parade 

Grand Central Madison leaves LIRR customers closer to the parade than ever, with the new East Side LIRR hub just a short walk from the parade’s starting point. The LIRR will have ushers at the terminal directing customers to the many street exits leading to Madison Ave between E. 42nd St and E. 48th St. 

For more travel options getting to the parade, the LIRR will add four extra westbound trains to Penn Station prior to the parade, two on the Babylon Branch and two on the Ronkonkoma Branch. Transfers to Grand Central-bound trains at Jamaica are available for all four added trains, leaving customers closer to the parade.

  • An 8:59 a.m. train from Farmingdale, which will make stops at Bethpage, Hicksville, Westbury, Carle Place, Mineola, Merillon Avenue, New Hyde Park, Jamaica, and Penn Station. 
  • 9:10 a.m. train from Ronkonkoma, which will make stops at Central Islip, Brentwood, Deer Park, Wyandanch, Farmingdale, Bethpage, Hicksville, Mineola, Jamaica, and Penn Station. 
  • 9:27 a.m. train from Babylon, which will make stops at Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Jamaica, and Penn Station. 
  • 9:30 a.m. train from Freeport, which will make stops at Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Jamaica, and Penn Station. 

To help parade spectators return to Long Island, the LIRR is adding six eastbound trains to its schedule departing from both Penn Station and Grand Central Madison. 

Grand Central Madison 

  • 2:04 p.m. Babylon Branch train, which will make stops at Jamaica, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, and all stops to Babylon. 
  • 2:54 p.m. Babylon Branch train, which will make stops at Jamaica, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, and all stops to Babylon. 
  • 3:07 p.m. Port Washington Branch train, which will make stops at Woodside, Flushing Main Street, and all stops to Great Neck. 

Penn Station 

  • 2:38 p.m. Babylon Branch train from Penn Station, which will make stops at Jamaica, Rockville Centre and all stops to Babylon. 
  • 3:26 p.m. Port Washington Branch train from Penn Station, which will make stops at Woodside, Flushing Main Street, and all stops to Great Neck. 
  • 3:45 p.m. Babylon Branch train from Penn Station, which will make stops at Jamaica, Rockville Centre, all stops to Wantagh, and Massapequa. 

The Best Way on the Subway  

The best way to the parade by subway is the Lexington Avenue  , which covers the full parade route, and stations are a short walk to Fifth Ave. If customers wish to take the train right to Fifth Ave, however, they can take the subway to the 5 Avenue/53 St   station. Customers could also take the   to 59 St-Lexington Av, or the Sixth Avenue Line   to 42 St-Bryant Park or 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center. 

Customers should note that the stairs to the   5 Avenue/59 St station at the southeast corner of Fifth Ave. and 60th St. will be closed during the parade. During that same time, the 77 St   subway station will be enter/exit only. 

New York City Bus Reroutes 

Due to the parade route, some New York City Buses will have their routes impacted. 

Customers should expect reroutes on the following bus routes: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M31, M50, M55, M57, M66, M72, M79 SBS, Q32, and most express buses. 

Customers can check new.mta.info throughout the duration of the parade to monitor their route. 

Metro-North Railroad Running Normal Weekday Schedule 

Metro-North Railroad will run its normal weekday schedule for its East-of-Hudson service. Metro-North has extra trains strategically positioned on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines if needed to accommodate potential extra customers in the morning and afternoon. 

The railroad’s West-of-Hudson service will also run its normal weekday schedules and has an extra train on the Port Jervis Line. The extra Port Jervis train will depart Port Jervis at 7:00 a.m. and makes all stops to Suffern and then Ramsey-Route 17 before operating express to Secaucus Junction.

Customers are encouraged to plan ahead, and check MYmta or TrainTime prior to traveling.