BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) advises Thanksgiving holiday travelers to plan ahead, utilize MassDOT’s many travel “real time” tools and use public transportation if possible to go to destinations.
“Thanksgiving travel has increased each year for the past several years, and I would encourage the public to plan ahead,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “This is an especially great time for our customers to use mobile apps, website information, or call 511 to access real-time information about highway congestion or to find out if transit and airlines are on schedule.”
MassDOT is taking several steps to ensure safe and reliable travel for all citizens who utilize transportation systems across the Commonwealth and will be shutting down scheduled roadway construction for the Thanksgiving travel period effective at 5 a.m., on Wednesday, November 23, per MassDOT’s long-standing policy. Travel conditions will also be evaluated on Tuesday, November 22, and MassDOT will make adjustments to any ongoing construction activities as necessary.
“We know from past experience that motorists can expect heavy traffic volume on our highways,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “We encourage everyone to use our many travel resources, adapt their travel plans based on traffic conditions, and use caution and travel safely no matter how they are getting to their Thanksgiving destination.”
With Sunday, November 20, being the annual Day of Remembrance for deadly crash victims, MassDOT strongly urges all drivers to minimize distractions by turning off or putting away cellphones, traveling the posted speed limit, staying sober and having a designated driver, and devoting their full attention to what is ahead on the road. MassDOT will be lighting the Leonard Zakim Bridge yellow on Sunday, November 20, (in keeping with the theme for Day of Remembrance), and encourages travelers to make an extra effort to be courteous on the roads and report to law enforcement any reckless driving.
For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:
• Travelers, before getting on the highway, may utilize the MassDOT Real-Time Traffic (“Go-Time”) informational displays by visiting this link: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/TrafficTravelResources/TrafficInformationMap.aspx
• The public may dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
• Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
• Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app that provides motorists with real-time traffic conditions across Massachusetts.
• Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT because motor vehicle incidents which impact traffic flow are generally mentioned in tweets if they occur on the state’s major highways.
Free coffee will be served at 18 MassDOT Service Plazas on Thursday, November 24, from 10 p.m., to 5 a.m., on Friday, November 25.
The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will have normal morning hours and will extend its hours to be open from 1 p.m., to 8 p.m., on Tuesday, November 22, and Wednesday, November 23. The HOV lane will be closed on Thursday, November 24, and Friday, November 25.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District reports that all travel lanes on the Cape Cod Canal’s Sagamore and Bourne bridges will be open Wednesday, November 23, through Sunday, November 27.
At Boston Logan Airport, travelers should monitor www.massport.com for updated airline and airport information and Transportation Security Administration carry-on luggage regulations. The mobile enhanced website Massport.com allows travelers to check flight status, parking conditions and public transportation options from their smartphone or tablet.
For travelers getting to and from Logan Airport:
• MBTA Silver Line provides service between South Station and Logan’s terminals every 10 minutes. Outbound service from Logan Airport to the South Boston Seaport District and South Station is FREE.
• To accommodate customers traveling to and from Logan International Airport, additional Silver Line 1 service will be offered between Saturday, November 19, and Wednesday, November 23, from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. each day. Additional service will also be provided from Saturday, November 26 through Monday, November 28.
• MBTA Blue Line provides subway service between points in Boston, North of Boston and Airport Station. Water transportation is also available from Downtown Boston and the Logan dock.
• Logan Express serves 5 locations including Peabody, Framingham, Woburn, Braintree and Back Bay. There are also several bus and taxi options available.
The MBTA has also released the following information regarding travel during the Thanksgiving travel period:
• The Red Line, Orange Line, Blue Line and Green Line will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Wednesday, November 23, and on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24, the Red, Orange, Blue and Green lines will operate on a Sunday schedule.
• On Friday, November 25, the Red, Orange and Blue lines will operate on a regular Friday schedule, while the Mattapan Trolley and Green Line branches will operate on a Saturday schedule.
• Commuter Rail lines will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Wednesday, November 23. On Thanksgiving, November 24, commuter rail lines will operate on a Sunday schedule. On Friday, November 25, commuter rail will operate on regular weekday schedules.
• Bus service will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day only.
• On Wednesday, November 23, Hingham and Hull ferry service will operate on a modified weekday schedule, and Charlestown service will operate on a regular weekday schedule. On Thanksgiving Day, there will be no Hingham, Hull or Charlestown ferry service.
• For full MBTA schedule details, please visit: http://www.mbta.com/events/.
Customers are also advised that the Registry of Motor Vehicles offices are closed for Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 24. Please visit at any hour of the day the RMV online at www.massrmv.com to skip the line and perform many transactions. In addition, AAA members now have the opportunity to conduct many RMV services at fourteen AAA branch office locations in Massachusetts during AAA normal business hours.
Drivers are reminded to avoid littering on roadways. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $5,500 for the first offense.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wishes all members of the public a safe and enjoyable holiday.