November 22, 2013
Don’t Let Driving Hassles Ruffle Your Feathers This Thanksgiving
MTA Metro-North Railroad Makes Holiday Travel Easier; More Trains Than Ever and Off-Peak Fares All Weekend
Parade, feast, family, shopping - all these pursuits are easier when you take Metro-North this Thanksgiving holiday.
Metro-North will operate extra trains and increase the number of cars on existing trains so there are plenty of seats for extra riders. Commuting routines go out the window during this four-day weekend that often starts early on Wednesday, when Metro-North provides early getaway trains in the afternoon.
With the addition of new weekend and off-peak trains added over the last eighteen months and as the economy slowly recovers, Metro-North expects discretionary ridership to grow this holiday weekend.
Some of the shoppers’ specials added in previous holiday seasons are now part of Metro-North’s regular, year-round weekend service. As a result, fewer additional trains need to be added to Metro-North’s holiday program.
Off-peak fares will be valid throughout the entire four-day Thanksgiving holiday period from Thursday, November 28, through Sunday, December 1. Special schedules are available through the call center, the internet, and via the TrainTime app.
Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving (November 27, 2013)
Historically, this is the heaviest travel day of the year with outbound ridership between noon and 8 PM over 25% higher than a normal weekday. Metro-North will operate a regular weekday schedule with longer trains at key times and 20 additional trains (6 Hudson, 3 Harlem, 11 New Haven) departing GCT between noon and 4:10 p.m. All changes are shown in the November 17, 2013, timetables.
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday (November 28, 2013)
Metro-North will provide additional inbound morning service for customers going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There is also expanded outbound service starting in the late morning and continuing until mid-afternoon for customers traveling to suburban destinations. Finally, there is expanded evening service for customers returning to New York City.
During the key outbound period between 10 AM and 2 PM, all fares from Grand Central and from Harlem-125th Street will be collected from customers before they board trains. During this period last year, more than 33,000 customers departed Grand Central. In all, Metro-North expects to carry more than 100,000 customers on Thanksgiving Day, making it the busiest holiday of the year.
Friday, the day after Thanksgiving (November 29, 2013)
There are fewer commuters and many more folks coming into New York City to enjoy the sights. So train schedule will be adjusted, with fewer AM Peak trains and more midday trains to accommodate an expected 60% ridership increase in people arriving at Grand Central between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Thanksgiving Weekend (Saturday and Sunday, November 30 and December 1, 2013)
Regular Saturday and Sunday schedules are in effect with extra trains and additional cars on existing trains. Saturday service features upper Hudson and outer New Haven Line Shoppers’ Special service. Regular half-hourly service to/from Stamford on the New Haven Line and to/from North White Plains on the Harlem Line is operated all day on Saturday. Sunday service
features outer New Haven line Shoppers’ Specials in addition to the normal half-hourly service on all lines.
Between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, Metro-North will supplement regular train service to meet the travel demands of increased ridership by providing additional cars and extra staffing on existing train service during key times throughout the holiday period, including Hudson Line Shoppers’ Special trains on Saturdays, and New Haven Line Shoppers’ Specials on Saturdays and Sundays.