MassDOT Advisory: Thanksgiving Week Travel

by | Nov 26, 2019

HOV lane opening early in afternoons: November 26 and November 27

Thursday: Registry customer service locations and state offices closed

Thursday night: free coffee at MassDOT service plazas

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is encouraging members of the public to plan ahead for the Thanksgiving holiday travel period by recognizing that traffic volumes and the number of travelers on public transportation will be higher than normal. Drivers and transit customers should use the appropriate resources to make informed decisions on route and timing of travel, and check public transportation service schedules.

“Thanksgiving is an incredibly busy time for travel, whether on the roads, in the skies, or on public transit,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The get-away rush will be starting Tuesday and we encourage everyone to think ahead, have a plan and exercise patience with each other.”

The MassDOT Highway Division is taking several steps to ensure safe and efficient travel on roadways, shutting down scheduled construction activities effective at 5 a.m., Tuesday, November 21. Scheduled construction will resume at 5 a.m., Monday, December 2.

“The top priority during the Thanksgiving travel period is safety,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Before heading out, travelers should evaluate weather conditions so smart decisions can be made about when to leave and return from trips. We want everyone to safely arrive at their destinations to be able to celebrate the holiday with their family and friends.”

MassDOT strongly urges all drivers to minimize distractions by turning off or putting away cellphones, traveling the posted speed limit, driving sober and devoting full attention to what is ahead on the road. MassDOT encourages travelers to make an extra effort to be courteous on the roads and report to law enforcement any reckless driving.

Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 p.m., Thursday, November 28, through 5 a.m., Friday, November 29. 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.

The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will extend its hours to be open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Tuesday, November 26, and from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Wednesday, November 27. The HOV lane will be closed on Thursday, November 28, and Friday, November 29, and will resume normal operations on Monday, December 2.

Due to increased travel in and out of Logan Airport as early as Tuesday morning, the Sumner Tunnel swing lane will not be deployed from Tuesday, November 26, at 10 a.m. until Monday, December 2 at 5 a.m., at which point it will resume normal operations.

For anyone traveling by air during the Thanksgiving holiday, you may continue to use any documents you have used recently to board airplanes. Massachusetts residents will not need a REAL ID credential for air travel until October 2020. In addition, Massachusetts residents with a valid U.S. passport or passport card never need a REAL ID. For more information please visit REAL ID online.

At Boston Logan Airport, travelers should monitor for updated airline and airport information and Transportation Security Administration carry-on luggage regulations, The Massport website 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 from Sunday November 24, through Wednesday, November 27, as well as on Friday, November 29.

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.

Massport provides free shuttle service to and from all terminals; the airport rental car center and the MBTA Blue Line Station.

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:

Sunday, November 24, through Wednesday, November 27, as well as Friday, November 29:
To accommodate customers traveling to and from Logan International Airport, additional Silver Line 1 service will be offered from Sunday, November 24, through Wednesday, November 27, as well as on Friday, November 29.
Wednesday, November 27:
All modes (subway, bus, commuter rail, the RIDE) will operate on a regular weekday schedules, with the exception of Hingham/Hull ferries. Charlestown ferry service will operate a regular weekday schedule.
Hingham/Hull ferries will operate a modified weekday schedule with additional mid-day ferry trips scheduled from Boston and Hingham and several cancelled trips from Boston and Hingham in the evening. For full schedule information, visit
Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 28:
There will be no Hingham, Hull, or Charlestown ferry service.
All modes (subway, bus, commuter rail, the RIDE) will operate on a Sunday schedule.
Please note that regular Red Line train service will operate the weekend following Thanksgiving, November 29 through December 1. For full service information, please visit and
Customers are also advised that Registry of Motor Vehicles offices are closed for the designated state holiday of Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 28. Please visit at any hour of the day the RMV online at 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.

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 before setting out on the road.
Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app that provides motorists with real-time traffic conditions across Massachusetts.
Visit to view travel times, road construction, traffic alerts or crashes along a route. Incidents, road closures, lane closures, real-time live traffic cameras, and weather alerts/forecasts, can all be viewed on the interactive live Traffic Map.
Dial 511 from a landline or cell phone to hear information on current conditions on major roadways.
Register for a Mass511 account to create and personalize routes and alerts to be notified of events on those routes ahead of time.
Check MassDOT Highway Traffic and Travel Resources.
Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT as incidents that impact traffic flow are generally mentioned in tweets if they occur on the state’s major highways.