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traffic-camera-zakim-bridge-2017The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is reminding members of the public to plan ahead for Thanksgiving holiday travel, use the appropriate technology resources to make informed decisions, and consider public transportation if traveling to locations such as Logan airport.

“We know from previous years that we can expect more people on the roads this week,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “This is a great time for customers to try our Go Time mobile app, visit www.mass511.com, or call 511 for real-time information on current road and traffic conditions. The public should also visit www.mbta.com/holidays for updated transit schedules and consider traveling by public transportation in order to reduce congestion and reach their destination in a timely manner.”

MassDOT is taking several steps to ensure safe and reliable travel for all citizens who utilize transportation systems across the Commonwealth and will be shutting down scheduled roadway construction for the Thanksgiving travel period effective at 12 p.m., Wednesday, November 22, per MassDOT’s long-standing policy. Travel conditions will also be evaluated on Tuesday, November 21, and MassDOT will make adjustments to any ongoing construction activities as necessary.

“Safety is always our first priority and we advise all travelers to drive safely and exercise smart driving habits,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We want to ensure everyone reaches their destination to celebrate the holiday with friends and family. Before heading out onto the roadways, travelers should check our many travel resources, make informed decisions, and adjust their plans according to traffic conditions.”

MassDOT strongly urges all drivers to minimize distractions by turning off or putting away cellphones, traveling the posted speed limit, staying sober and having a designated driver, and devoting their 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.

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 mass511.com 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.

Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 p.m. Thursday, November 23, through 5 a.m., Friday, November 24. 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 have normal morning hours and will extend its hours to be open from 2 p.m., to 8 p.m., on Tuesday, November 21, and from 1 p.m., to 8 p.m., on Wednesday, November 22. The HOV lane will be closed on Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24 and will resume normal operations on Monday, November 27.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District reports that all travel lanes on the Cape Cod Canal’s Sagamore and Bourne bridges will be open Wednesday, November 22, through Sunday, November 26.

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 www.massport.com 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. Massport also encourages travelers to check with their airlines before heading to the airport for the most updated flight status and travel information

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 Wednesday, November 22, through Monday, November 27.
  • 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:

  • There will be additional extra coach cars on MBTA Commuter Rail lines including the outbound Franklin, Needham, Kingston, Plymouth, Providence and Worcester line trains leaving downtown stations on Wednesday, November 22, between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Commuter Rail lines will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Wednesday, November 22. On Thanksgiving, November 23, commuter rail lines will operate on a Sunday schedule. On Friday, November 25, commuter rail will operate on regular weekday schedules.
  • The Red Line, Orange Line, Blue Line and Green Line will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Wednesday, November 22, and on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, the Red, Orange, Blue and Green lines will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • On Friday, November 24, the Red, Orange and Blue lines will operate on a regular Friday schedule, while the Mattapan Trolley and Green Line branches will operate on a Saturday schedule.
  • Bus service and The RIDE will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day only.
  • On Wednesday, November 22, Hingham and Hull ferry service will operate on a modified weekday schedule, and Charlestown service will operate on a regular weekday schedule. On Thanksgiving Day, there will be no Hingham, Hull or Charlestown ferry service.

Customers are also advised that the Registry of Motor Vehicles offices are closed for the designated state holiday of Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23. 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.

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