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Logan Express Back Bay BusThe transportation agencies of Massachusetts, including MassDOT, the MBTA and Port Authority (Massport), today introduced plans to ease holiday travel frustration during the busy travel season.

The travel experts at AAA are predicting 300,000 additional holiday travelers this year, bringing the total close to 47 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving. This marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel. The holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 25 to Sunday, November 29. The association expects 41.9 million Americans will travel by car and that air travel will increase by 0.1 percent, with 3.6 million Americans flying, the most since 2007.

MBTA Red Line Countdown Signs, Charles-MGH, December 31, 2013“I encourage safe and smart travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, through every mode of transportation,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “I encourage all of our customers to take advantage of real time information that is available to help them catch their train, plane or to avoid any congestion along the highways.”

Travelers are urged to use the multiple options for public transportation this holiday season. The MBTA is adding additional service to the Silver Line for customers headed to the airport during Thanksgiving holiday week. At Logan and nationwide, TSA security checkpoints will be fully staffed as they remain committed to processing passengers as efficiently as possible, while maintaining screening effectiveness.

Westwood, I-95 South, New Travel Lane, November 15, 2012“To ensure prompt and convenient service to and from Logan Airport, the Silver Line will operate with additional service during peak travel periods,” said MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola. “Also, we want to remind everyone at this time to check our website for schedules throughout the week as well as upcoming scheduling changes being made in December for trains through North Station.”

Travel tips from the different agencies include:
• However you’re traveling, by car, train or plane, allow extra time;
• When possible, use public transportation instead of driving;
• The MBTA subway system will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving, please check for information about commuter rail schedules;
• For those driving, AAA recommends you ensure your vehicle is properly maintained; you map your route in advance, and have roadside assistance contact info on hand;
• If parking at Logan, subscribe to get parking updates;
• The TSA can answer questions about what you can take in your baggage. Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted, but may require further inspection;
• Public awareness is key for supporting TSA’s security efforts; therefore, TSA encourages travelers to remember, “If You See Something, Say Something.”

“We want to do everything we can to ease the travel experience for everyone traveling in and out of Boston Logan Airport,’’ said Massport Director of Aviation Ed Freni. “This is a busy time at Logan, and we are urging travelers to plan ahead to help make their traveling experience as easy as possible.’’

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;
• MBTA Blue Line provides subway service between Boston and Airport Station;
• Water transportation is also available from Downtown Boston and the Logan dock;
• Logan Express serves 5 locations including Peabody, Framingham, Woburn, Braintree and Back Bay. Until 11/20, park for 4-14 days for only $22;
• There are also several bus and taxi options available.

“MassDOT anticipates a high volume of traffic on our highways and at Boston Logan International Airport this Thanksgiving holiday, with particularly heavy traffic volume on our highways Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday after the holiday,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “We encourage all drivers to use caution along the roads and for people traveling on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, we urge you to leave either after 8 p.m. or early in the morning.”

For those driving:
• Along our highways in years past, the exits with the heaviest volume were 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;
• Plymouth Rock Assurance will sponsor tolls once again this year on the day before Thanksgiving and will sponsor Tolls at Plaza 19 east and westbound (Allston / Brighton) Wednesday November 25th from 7 AM to 8 AM. Motorists traveling late on Thanksgiving night can advantage of FREE coffee at all 18 of Service Plazas from Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 26th from 10 PM to Friday November 29th at 5 AM;
• To assist motorists, additional emergency service personnel will be on patrol to quickly respond to accidents or disabled vehicles. 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

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