BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) advises holiday travelers to plan ahead, utilize MassDOT’s many “real time” travel tools and use public transportation if possible to reach their destinations between now and the end of the July 4 holiday weekend.
“This holiday is a great opportunity for the public to use technology tools including www.mass511.com or the GoTime mobile app in order to make informed decisions on routes to take to destinations and the timing of travel,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “If people check real-time travel time information before leaving home then they can make smart decisions about whether to drive or take transit and whether to leave earlier or later. We hope everyone has a relaxing holiday and encourage members of the public to also think about safety as they travel, limit distractions if driving, don’t drink and drive, take frequent breaks and check transit schedules.”
“We expect heavy traffic volumes on our highways during this upcoming holiday period,” said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “With many people driving to destinations we encourage people to leave extra time to reach their destinations, exercise safe driving behaviors, be patient on the roadways, and consider taking public transit if possible.”
MassDOT is taking steps to facilitate the flow of traffic during the holiday and will be postponing scheduled roadway construction effective at noon, Friday, June 30, with scheduled construction activities resuming with the start of normal business hours on Wednesday, July 5. In addition, the High Occupancy Lane (HOV) between Quincy and Boston on I-93 will open early for the afternoon commute today at 1 p.m. The HOV lane will be closed on Monday, July 3, and on Tuesday, July 4, and will then re-open during regularly scheduled hours on Wednesday, July 5.
Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, through 5 a.m., Wednesday, July 5. The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90 plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, Route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas.
For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:
• Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions
• Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
• Visit www.mass511.com, 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.
• 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.
The U.S Army Corps of Engineers reports that there will be no scheduled lane restrictions on the Sagamore Bridge during the July 4 holiday travel period.
The MBTA has also released the following information regarding travel on Tuesday, July 4:
• All MBTA service will be free after 9:30 p.m.
• All subway, busses, and trackless trolley will operate on a Sunday schedule.
• Subway service will then operate at rush-hour levels of service beginning at 2 p.m.
• The Hingham and Hull boat service will operate on a Saturday schedule.
• The Charlestown ferry service will operate on a weekend schedule.
• Commuter Rail lines will operate on a Saturday schedule, with the exception of the Fairmont Line, which will operate on a special event/holiday schedule. Additionally, last outbound north and south side train times have been adjusted to accommodate the fireworks display on the Esplanade – these adjustments can be found on at http://www.mbta.com/events/.
• The RIDE will operate on a Saturday schedule.
• Parking facilities will operate as usual with parking ambassadors available to assist customers with payment and other event related questions.
• MBTA customers should be reminded that bicycles are not allowed on any subway line for the entire day on Fourth of July. Bicycles are prohibited on inbound Commuter Rail trains from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and outbound Commuter Rail trains after 4 p.m.
• For full MBTA schedule details, please visit: http://www.mbta.com/events/.
• Additionally, several bus routes may operate on detour routes due to 4th of July events and parades, and detour information is posted on T-Alerts.
Customers are also advised that the Registry of Motor Vehicles offices are closed for the designated state holiday on Tuesday, July 4. 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 numerous 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.