The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) encourages travelers to plan ahead this holiday season, utilize MassDOT’s many travel tools and resources and take public transportation if possible.
“We want everyone to reach their travel destinations safely and enjoy this holiday with their friends and loved ones,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Drivers should minimize distractions, stay sober and have a designated driver, and the MBTA will offer free service on all modes of transportation after 8 p.m., New Year’s Eve, to encourage travelers to make smart choices when celebrating.”
“We encourage travelers to monitor weather conditions, use our technology tools such as mass511 and our web-based real-time information, and make informed decisions to ensure they safely reach their holiday destinations,” said Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “In case of inclement weather, our snow and ice crews will be prepared to respond and drivers should remain at least 200 feet back from snowplows and road equipment at all times to ensure safe travel.”
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.
MassDOT will be shutting down scheduled roadway construction effective at Noon on Friday, December 23, through Tuesday morning, December 27, and at Noon on Friday, December 30, through Tuesday morning, January 3.
Free coffee will be served at 18 MassDOT Service Plazas on Saturday, December 24, Christmas Eve, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and onSaturday, December 31, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Sunday, January 1.
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 Friday, December 23, and Friday, December 30. The HOV lane will be closed on the designated state holidays, Monday, December 26, and Monday, January 2.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District reports that some normally scheduled maintenance-related activities will be suspended on upcoming weekdays, specifically so that all travel lanes on the Cape Cod Canal’s Sagamore and Bourne bridges will be openFriday, December 23 through Monday, January 2.
The MBTA has released the following information regarding travel during the holiday travel period:
- The Red Line, Orange Line, Blue Line and Green Line will operate on a regular Saturday schedule on Saturday, December 24, a regular Sunday schedule on Sunday, December 25, and a Sunday schedule on the observed holiday, Monday, December 26.
- Commuter Rail lines will operate on a regular Saturday schedule on Saturday, December 24, a regular Sunday schedule on Sunday, December 25, and a Sunday schedule on the observed holiday, Monday, December 26.
- Bus service will operate on a regular Saturday schedule on Saturday, December 24, a regular Sunday schedule on Sunday, December 25, and a Sunday schedule on the observed holiday, Monday, December 26.
- Ferries will operate on a regular Saturday schedule on Saturday, December 24 (F4 boats only); Ferries will not operate on Sunday, December 25, and will operate on a regular Sunday schedule on the observed holiday, Monday, December 26 (F4 boats only).
- All subway lines will operate a modified weekday schedule on Saturday, December 31, 2016, with additional trains operating at rush-hour levels of service from 3 p.m. until approximately 1 a.m. Buses, commuter boat/ferry, and the RIDE will operate on a regular Saturday schedule on December 31. The Commuter Rail will operate a modified Saturday schedule with extra outbound service from North and South Stations at the times listed below. Extra trains will make all stops en route to their destinations and customers must arrive prior to the departure times. Bicycles are also prohibited on all inbound Commuter Rail trains between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and all outbound trains from 4 p.m. through the end of service on New Year’s Eve.
- Subway, buses, Commuter Rail, commuter boat/ferry, and the RIDE will provide regular Sunday service on Sunday, January 1, 2017. On the observed New Year’s Day holiday of Monday, January 2, 2017, subway, buses, Commuter Rail, commuter boat/ferry, and the RIDE will operate a Sunday schedule.
- For full MBTA schedule details, please visit: http://www.mbta.com/events/.
Travelers flying to and from Boston Logan Airport should monitor www.massport.com for updated airline and airport information and Transportation Security Administration carry-on luggage regulations. The mobile enhanced website allows travelers to check flight status, parking conditions and public transportation options from their smartphone or tablet.
Tips for travelers at Boston Logan Airport include:
- Families should plan ahead, arrive early, and determine how they will get to and from the airport.
- Travelers should not wrap gifts, as security agencies may need to unwrap items for further inspection.
- Travelers should prepare for security and have a valid ID and boarding pass. They should remove large electronics from carry-on baggage, and consider checking bags where feasible.
- Travelers can get flight information on www.massport.com up to 4 hours before their flight, and should arrive 2 hours early for a domestic flight and 3 hours for international.
- Many airlines allow you to check in online before you get to the airport.
- www.massport.com also has a wayfinding application to help you know your way around Logan.
- We recommend waiting in the cell phone lot until your party can meet you at the curb.
- In case of bad weather, passengers should contact their airline for the best information about their flight.
- Travelers should also follow the liquids rule. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less and all containers must fit inside a single quart-size plastic bag and be placed in a bin for carry-on baggage screening.
Customers are advised that the Registry of Motor Vehicles offices are closed on the designated state holidays, Monday, December 26, and Monday, January 2. 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.