Planes, Trains and Automobiles
No matter how you’re getting to Grandma’s house this Thanksgiving, we’ve got you covered
BOSTON – The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is anticipating record volume of traffic on our highways and in Boston Logan International Airport terminals this Thanksgiving season, with particularly heavy days beginning Wednesday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 25. The exits with the heaviest volume are expected to be on the Turnpike at Exit 9 at the interchange with I-84, Exit 11A for I-495, Exit 14 for I-95 and Route 128, and Exit 24 for I-93 North and South. For people traveling on Wednesday and Sunday, MassDOT is urging drivers to leave either after 8 p.m. or early in the morning. For travelers along the Turnpike, Plymouth Rock Assurance will sponsor free tolls at the Allston Brighton interchange from 3-4 pm on Wednesday.
“Thanksgiving is one of our busiest traffic days across our transportation system,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “To help alleviate the stress that comes with the holiday travel, we are doing everything we can to communicate traffic hot spots and issues and enhancing public transit services like the Silver Line to and from Logan Airport. With these efforts we hope customers have a safe and enjoyable holiday.”
To assist motorists, additional emergency service personnel will be on patrol to quickly respond to accidents or disabled vehicles. There will also be extra toll takers working on the Turnpike to ensure tolls are fully staffed. Motorists can also expect Variable Message Sign boards to be deployed on both sides of the Pike to provide drivers with information about travel delays and backups. In an effort to reduce unneeded obstacles, MassDOT will be suspending all construction projects on major roadways across the Commonwealth starting at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 21.
“Given that we typically expect heavy volume on the Turnpike this time of year, we are making a special plea for people’s patience,” said Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. “If folks can travel early in the morning or after 8 p.m. we strongly urge them to do so. Otherwise, we are asking drivers to be especially cautious to ensure they get where they need to and do so safely.”
At Logan Airport, Massport is encouraging passengers to arrive a minimum of 2 ½ hours before a domestic flight and three hours for an international departure. Travelers should monitor www.massport.com for updated airline and airport information and to familiarize themselves with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) carry-on luggage regulations to help lessen delays at security checkpoints. Massport is also introducing several new customer initiatives – a new mobile enhanced Massport.com so people can check flight status, parking conditions and public transportation options from their smartphone or tablet device; Airport Wayfinder, a series of videos that are downloadable to mobile devices from the app store, free wifi at the cell phone waiting lot, and brand new energy efficient airport shuttle buses -- to make navigating the airport easier and more convenient.
“Customer service is a top priority of Massport and whether you are driving to the airport, getting from one terminal to another, or picking up a family member, these new initiatives will make your life easier,’’ said Massport CEO and Executive Director Thomas Glynn. In 2011, some 868,000 passengers used Boston Logan during the Thanksgiving holiday period and Massport estimates a one percent increase this year. To assist travelers and ease the anxiety of travel, Massport employees will be volunteering inside the terminals and curb-side areas to assist travelers and direct customers to their airline check-in and TSA security checkpoint during the days leading up to the holiday.
The MBTA will be running its regular weekday schedule on Wednesday, Nov. 21 and Friday, Nov. 23. On Thursday, Nov. 22, the T will run on a Sunday schedule. To support an increase in ridership, the T will add additional service on all subway lines and the Silver Line. Due to heavy traffic, residents are encouraged to use public transportation to get to and from Logan Airport. The Silver Line stops at all Logan terminals. And Silver Line trips from Logan Airport to South Station are free.
"Six years after it was first introduced, Silver Line service to Logan continues to attract more and more travelers," said Acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis. "We'll be ready again this year to handle the thousands of travelers who choose the convenience and affordability of the increasingly popular Silver Line."
For additional travel transportation information visit www.massdot.state.ma.us – click on “Traffic and Travel Resources” in the banner of the front page to find a comprehensive list of resources. For Logan Airport information, visit www.Massport.com. For more detailed information on the MBTA and public transportation service around the holiday, visit www.mbta.com or call 617-222-3200 or 800-392-6100, TTY 617-222-5146.
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. No state tax dollars are used to fund operations or capital improvements at Massport facilities.