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MTA Is the Best Way to Travel During Thanksgiving Week

Updated Nov 19, 2023 2:00 p.m.

Metro-North to Add Extra Early Getaway Service on Wednesday, Nov. 22, and Operate Special Schedule on Thanksgiving Day for Macy's Parade

LIRR Adds Extra Trains Thanksgiving Day to Accommodate Riders Before and After Macy’s Parade

MTA Bridges and Tunnels Will Suspend Routine Maintenance at All Crossings to Accommodate Increased Travel

For Real Time Updates Customers Can Visit new.MTA.Info, myMTA app, TrainTime

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is prepared to get millions of holiday travelers to their destinations during the 2023 Thanksgiving weekend. Trains and buses across the MTA system will operate on special schedules on Wednesday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 26, to accommodate an anticipated heavy travel holiday weekend.

Travelers heading to and from LaGuardia Airport should take the LaGuardia Link Q70 Select Bus Service (SBS). The LaGuardia Link Q70 SBS bus connects the  subway lines and LIRR to LaGuardia Terminals B and C providing a streamlined ride with customer amenities designed for travelers. Stops for LaGuardia Link Q70 SBS are distinctly marked outside LIRR’s Woodside Station/61 St-Woodside  subway station, and at the bus bays the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av /74 St-Broadway  subway station complex.

Customers boarding at LaGuardia Terminals B, and C can spot the LaGuardia Link buses via their distinctive light blue exterior design. Customers are urged to allow extra time due to increased holiday traffic.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels will suspend daytime lane closures related to routine maintenance and construction work beginning 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21, through 6:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 27, to accommodate motorists throughout the busy travel weekend. Any critical work that must be accomplished over the holiday weekend would occur only during overnight hours as traffic conditions permit.

Wednesday, Nov. 22: Expanded Early Afternoon Service on Metro-North Railroad

Metro-North Railroad will operate a regular weekday service with nine additional early-getaway trains (three on the Hudson Line, two on the Harlem Line and four on the New Haven Line) departing Grand Central between 1:15 – 3:30 p.m. Customers traveling in the early evening should check TrainTime prior to traveling.

For Metro-North’s West-of-Hudson customers, a Port Jervis Line early getaway train will depart Hoboken at 2:41 p.m., making stops at Secaucus, Ramsey/Route 17, Suffern and all stops in New York State to Port Jervis, arriving at 4:56 p.m. The connecting train from New York Penn Station departs at 2:34 p.m. Customers traveling in the early evening should check TrainTime prior to traveling.

New York City Transit subways, buses Staten Island Railway will operate on a regular weekday schedule.

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will operate on a regular weekday schedule.

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23: Take the Subway to Macy’s Parade

On Thanksgiving Day, New York City subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule and the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Saturday schedule.

Metro-North will operate a special schedule with extra service before and after the parade. The Hudson Rail Link buses at Spuyten Duyvil and Riverdale do not operate, nor do the ferries between Ossining-Haverstraw and Beacon-Newburgh. Metro-North’s West of Hudson service will operate on a weekend schedule with two additional trains on the Port Jervis Line for service before and after the parade.

There are many bus routes that either do not operate on Sundays or do not run on part of the route at certain hours. Customers traveling on Thanksgiving Day should check Sunday schedules, lines and routes.

Getting to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 8:30 a.m. at 77th Street and Central Park West and ends in front of Macy’s at Herald Square (34th Street).

The closest subway stations to the start of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are the  at 72 St, the  at 79 St, the  at 81 St, and the  at 59 St-Columbus Circle.

There will be additional service on the  42 Street Shuttle as well as increased early morning service on the  line to accommodate spectators. In order to prevent overcrowding on stairways and platforms, some subway entrances at 59 St-Columbus Circle will be closed. Trains will bypass the 72 St  between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. In addition, select exits and entrances will be closed at Penn Station, and other stations along the Sixth Avenue line. There will not be service to 57 St/6 Av on that day as the  is currently rerouted over the  and the  will not be operating to Midtown on Thanksgiving Day.

The LIRR schedule is supplemented with six extra trains timed perfectly for those attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There will be six extra westbound trains originating on Long Island between 6 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. (three each on the Babylon Branch and Ronkonkoma Branch), and five extra eastbound trains departing Penn Station between 11:45 a.m. and 1:25 p.m. (two on the Babylon Branch and three on the Ronkonkoma Branch).

Metro-North will provide additional inbound morning service for customers going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There will also be expanded outbound service starting in the late morning and continuing until mid-afternoon for customers traveling to suburban destinations. Finally, there will be expanded evening service for customers returning to New York City.

Metro-North will be checking tickets prior to boarding at Grand Central Terminal and at Harlem-125th Street. Customers must have tickets from a ticket office, ticket vending machine or mobile ticket, which will be checked before boarding the trains. No one without a ticket will be allowed past the gates at Grand Central and Harlem-125th Street between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to ensure every rider has a valid ticket.

Bus service in Manhattan may experience delays, and will be affected by reroutes, detours, and/or frozen zones, especially those routes operating in Midtown near the parade route such as the M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M7, M10, M11, M12, M20, M31, M34 SBS, M34A SBS, M42, M50, M55, M57, M66, M72, M79 SBS, M103, M104, Q32, BxM1, BxM2, BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BXM8, BxM9, BxM10, BxM11,, QM2, QM4, QM5, QM6, SIM1C, SIM3C, SIM4C, SIM33C, X27, X28.

The 79th Street Transverse Road will be closed from noon Wednesday, Nov. 23, to noon Thursday, Nov. 24, and buses will not be permitted to cross during this time. Details will be provided at new.mta.info under “Service Status.”

Black Friday, Nov. 24

New York City subways and Staten Island Railway will operate on a regular weekday schedule.

Most New York City Transit and MTA Bus Company buses will run on reduced weekday schedules. Some limited-stop services will not run. Check for any service changes on bus routes at mta.info under “service status.”

The LIRR will operate on a regular weekday schedule, with lower, off-peak fares in effect all day.

Metro-North will operate on an enhanced Saturday schedule with additional inbound service in the morning and outbound service in the afternoon to accommodate the Friday workforce and Black Friday shoppers, with off-peak fares in effect all day.

On Metro-North's West of Hudson. the Port Jervis Line will operate an enhanced weekend schedule with three additional trains, and the Pascack Valley Line will operate a normal weekend schedule.

Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 26

All MTA agencies will operate on regular weekend schedules.

Subway customers traveling late Friday night and over the weekend should check the myMTA app and MTA Weekender prior to traveling, with planned work scheduled on the  lines.

For real-time service updates and information, customers can use the following options:  

MYmta app – Customers who use the comprehensive MYmta smartphone app will see real-time travel information for all MTA services all in one place.  

TrainTime app - The MTA’s TrainTime app is the one-stop app for commuter rail customers in the region on both Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, showing all train schedules for 30 days in the future.

mta.info – The “Service Status” box at new.mta.info is always the definitive source for the latest status for each line.

MTA Weekender – Customers can sign up for the “MTA Weekender,” a weekly digest of major weekend service changes throughout the transit system.  

X – X users can follow @MTA, @NYCTSubway, @NYCTBus for service updates and customer service support.

WhatsApp – Customers can chat with NYC Transit via WhatsApp. Riders can receive customer service support in their native language through the help of Google Translate. 

For those who prefer to contact the MTA by telephone, information is available by dialing 511. Connecticut customers should call 877-690-5114. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can use their preferred service provider for the free 711 relay to reach the MTA at 511.