Memorial Day weekend travel expects to be busier than last year

NEW YORK — Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to the summer, and it’s also one of the busiest travel times of the year.

AAA expecting near-record numbers with an estimate of about 42 million Americans travelling this weekend by car, plane, bus and train, much more than last year.

More than 36 million people will be jumping into their cars, nearly a five percent increase from last year.

Three million people are expected to fly — a 6.8 percent increase, and close to 2 million will get out of town on trains, buses and cruise ships, up nearly three percent from last year.

In our area, AAA said the worst time to travel will be between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

For those driving, you can also expect to pay more at the pump. Gas prices are going to be the highest they've been since 2014.

The national average price back in April was $2.72 a gallon, 33-cents more than last year.

Below are the details on getaway service for the long weekend and Memorial Day:

Long Island Rail Road
On Friday, May 25, the Long Island Rail Road is adding nine extra afternoon trains departing Penn Station between 1:42 p.m. and 3:48 p.m.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, the LIRR will operate on a holiday schedule.

Metro-North Railroad
On Friday, May 25, Metro-North Railroad is adding 17 extra afternoon trains departing Grand Central Terminal between 12:58 p.m. and 4:11 p.m. Some trains between 5:18 p.m. and 7:28 p.m. will be canceled and combined due to reduced ridership in this time period. All extra and canceled trains are shown in the current timetable.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, Metro-North will operate on a Sunday schedule.

Staten Island Railway
MTA Staten Island Railway will operate its Early Departure Get Away schedule on Friday, May 25 to accommodate customers looking to get an early start on their holiday weekend plans.  This schedule means extra SIR trains will be added earlier in the afternoon beginning at 2:30 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal.  There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m.  The Early Departure Get Away service plan on SIR is also available on Tuesday, July 3 (before Independence Day), Labor Day weekend, Christmas and New Year’s.  It will also operate on the day before Thanksgiving.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels
MTA Bridges and Tunnels will suspend all scheduled bridge maintenance work beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 25, through the end of the morning rush on Tuesday, May 29, to accommodate motorists traveling throughout the busy travel weekend. Tube closures related to Sandy restoration work will occur at the Queens Midtown Tunnel and Hugh L. Carey Tunnel overnight Friday night into Saturday morning, but then be suspended for the weekend and resuming Tuesday night.

New York City Transit
On Monday, May 28, New York City subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule. Additional planned service changes due to work to maintain and upgrade tracks, signals, stations and other infrastructure may be found on The Weekender at web.mta.info/weekender.html