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

Updated March 13, 2024 7:45 p.m.

LIRR and Metro-North Adding Extra Trains to and from Manhattan Before and After Parade

Grand Central Madison Brings LIRR Riders Right to Parade Route

Alcohol Will Be Banned on LIRR Trains from Midnight Saturday through 5 a.m. Monday

Metro-North Alcohol Bans Alcohol All Day 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 Saturday, March 16 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 takes great pride in participating in the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations every year. We want to make sure that everyone who’s marching, watching or just heading into the city for the fun gets there safely,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “There are many subway stops near the parade route, and buses can drop you off nearby. Everyone should use the MTA website or the MyMTA app to plan their trips for a great day in Manhattan.”

“It’s only a short walk from Grand Central Terminal to the parade’s start point, making Metro-North a fantastic travel option,” said Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “We encourage those celebrating this holiday to do so safely and responsibly and allow us to do the driving so you don’t have to.  Customers should check the TrainTime app to find all of the extra trains before and after the parade.”

“With two New York City terminals, the Long Island Rail Road has plenty of travel options to get you to and from the St. Patrick’s Day parade quickly and safely,” said Acting LIRR President Rob Free. “There will be extra trains before and after the parade so customers will have multiple options as they use our TrainTime app to plan a fun day with their family and friends.”

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

The Long Island Rail Road will ban alcohol on all trains and at stations from Midnight Saturday through 5:00 a.m. Monday and Metro-North Railroad will ban alcohol all day on Saturday. 

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. 

Multiple travel options will be available to get people to the parade. The LIRR will add 15 extra westbound trains to Manhattan prior to the parade, four on the Ronkonkoma Branch, 4 on the Babylon Branch, one on the Montauk Branch, two extra trains on the Port Jefferson Branch one from Huntington and one from Port Jefferson and one train from Great Neck to Penn Station. Transfers to Grand Central-bound trains at Jamaica are available for all added trains, leaving customers closer to the parade. There will also be one train from Great Neck and one from Long Beach that will take customers to Grand Central Madison.

To help parade spectators return to Long Island, the LIRR is adding 16 eastbound trains to its schedule including five trains on the Babylon Branch, four on the Ronkonkoma Branch, two trains to Huntington, one to Port Jefferson and one to Great Neck that will depart from Penn Station. One train to Long Beach and one train to Great Neck will depart from Grand Central Madison and one extra train will operate to Speonk from Penn.

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 Av/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 r 5 Av/59 St station at the southeast corner of Fifth Ave and 60th St. will be closed during the parade. During that same time, certain stairs at the 77 St  subway station will be enter only and others will be exit only.

Please be advised the following service changes will be in effect this weekend:

N trains will not operate between Queens & Manhattan

  •  trains operate via the  between Times Sq-42 St & 96 St-2 Av in Manhattan. 
  • For service to Astoria, take the  train to Queens Plaza and transfer to the Q108 Shuttle Bus to 39 Av for  shuttle trains to Astoria-Ditmars Blvd.

 trains will not operate between Queens & Manhattan

  •  trains operate between Main St and 74 St-Broadway only.
  • For travel to Manhattan, take the  or . LIRR will accommodate subway riders traveling between Queens and Manhattan for no additional cost at Flushing, Mets-Willets Point, Woodside, Grand Central Madison, and Penn Station.

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 Expanded Saturday Schedule

Metro-North will operate an expanded Saturday schedule on Saturday, March 16, to transport customers to and from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City, along with seven scheduled extra trains – three on the Hudson Line, two on the Harlem Line and two on the New Haven Line – along with extra equipment available to operate additional trains if necessary.  

On the Hudson Line, extra trains depart Poughkeepsie at 7:37 am, 8:37 am and 9:15 am, stopping at New Hamburg, Beacon, Cold Spring, Garrison, Peekskill and Croton-Harmon, and then operating express to Yankees/E 153rd St, Harlem/125th St and GCT. Metro-North will be checking tickets prior to customers boarding at Poughkeepsie and Beacon stations.

On the Harlem Line, an extra train departs Southeast at 8:52 am, stopping at all stations through White Plains and then operating express to Harlem/125th St and GCT; another extra train departs North White Plains at 9:46 am and stops at all stations through Mount Vernon West and then operating express to Harlem/125th St and GCT. 

On the New Haven Line, an extra train departs New Haven at 8:30 am, making all stops to Westport and then operating express to Harlem/125th St and GCT, and a second extra train departs Stamford at 9:35 am, making all stops to Mount Vernon East and then operating express to Harlem/125th St and GCT.

West of the Hudson, on the Port Jervis Line, an extra train will depart Port Jervis at 8:24 am, making all stops to Suffern and then operating express to Secaucus Junction and Hoboken; passengers may change trains at Secaucus Junction for service to Penn Station New York. In the afternoon, an extra train will depart Hoboken at 5:19 pm and Secaucus Junction at 5:29 pm, with a connecting train departing Penn Station New York at 5:11 pm, operating express to Suffern and then all stops to Port Jervis.

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