BOSTON – The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is anticipating a record volume of traffic on our highways and at Boston Logan International Airport this Thanksgiving season, with particularly heavy traffic volume on our highways Tuesday, Nov. 26 and Wednesday Nov. 27 and on the Sunday after the holiday. 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 Tuesday, 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 exit 19 at the Allston Brighton interchange from 3-4 pm on Wednesday. Motorists traveling late on Thanksgiving night may take advantage of free coffee at Service Plazas from 10pm to 5am on Friday, November 29.
“I encourage travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday, no matter their mode of transportation, to take advantage of real time information that is available to help them catch their train, plane or to avoid the thick of highway traffic,” said Transportation Secretary and Massport Board Chairman Richard A. Davey. “Technology allows us to provide our customers with flight information, timing on the next bus and to anticipate the backup heading west on the Turnpike.”
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.flylogan.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 also encourages travelers to utilize its mobile enhanced flylogan.com so people can check flight status, parking conditions and public transportation options from their smartphone or tablet device.
New this holiday, Massport has installed flat-screen digital signs in the Terminal B and Terminal C arrivals area, the new Rental Car Center, and 27 curbside countdown signs for ground transportation. In the next two years, flat-screen digital signs will be installed in the new Terminal B connector, Terminal E on the arrivals and departure level as well as the re-check area where arriving international passengers go to connect to domestic flights. In addition, the flat screens will be installed at all 20 baggage claim locations in the airport
“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 2012, more than 513,000 departure seats were available at Boston Logan during the Thanksgiving holiday period and Massport estimates a 4 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.
To assist motorists, additional emergency service personnel will be on patrol to quickly respond to accidents or disabled vehicles. There will also be additional toll takers working on the Turnpike to ensure tolls are well staffed. Motorists can also expect real time traffic information 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 suspended all construction projects on major roadways across the Commonwealth starting midday on Wednesday, Nov. 27. Consider downloading the RideWise Smartphone Application or calling 511 for current tra1ffic conditions. There are additional resources on the MassDOT Highway Division webpage: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/TrafficTravelResources.aspx.
“Turnpike transaction data tells us that we will see heavy traffic volumes on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving,” said Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. “Also, if last year is any indication, tomorrow (Friday before Thanksgiving) will also be a popular travel day on our roadways.”
The Friday before Thanksgiving was the 29th busiest day on the Turnpike with more than 335,000 transactions in 2012. The Tuesday before ranked 24th and the Wednesday before was the 48th busiest day on the Pike last year.
The MBTA will be running its regular weekday schedule on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and Friday, Nov. 29. On Thursday, Nov. 28, 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. Beginning Tuesday of Thanksgiving week and throughout the weekend, the MBTA will operate additional off-peak service to serve customers traveling to and from Logan Airport. Always check MBTA.com for service information or visit the rider tools page for apps that give customers information on the go: http://mbta.com/rider_tools/apps/.
For additional travel transportation information visit www.massdot.state.ma.us . 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. For more information please visit massport.com.
In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway division, the MBTA and Mass Transit, Aeronautics, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work. For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot.