How to get around (or get out of) NYC this Christmas
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Here’s everything you need to know about getting around this weekend and over the Christmas holiday, whether you’re staying in or traveling outside NYC. The good news is that the MTA is suspending bridge and tunnel maintenance for the holiday, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North are providing extra service, off-peak fares apply, and there’s a free bus to La Guardia. Read on for some of the bad news.
New York City Subway: Christmas Day Service
The New York City Subway will operate on a Sunday schedule on Christmas Day. There will be no B, 6, or 7 express service.
MTA New York City Transit buses will also operate on a Sunday schedule on Christmas Day (which means many routes aren’t operating at all, so be sure to check the Sunday schedule and expect delays).
Free Q70 Select Bus Service LaGuardia Link and AirTran shuttle buses
The MTA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are offering free rides on the Q70 Select Bus Service (SBS) LaGuardia Link through January 1, providing a worry-free limited-stop ride, complete with customer amenities designed for travelers.
Also, here’s a list of service changes on the subway during the weekend:
E trains run local in both directions in Queens.
Coney Island-bound D trains skip 170 Street and 161 Street in the Bronx and 155 Street in Manhattan.
F trains run local in both directions in Queens. Jamaica-bound F trains are rerouted via the E from 47-50 Streets in Manhattan to Roosevelt Avenue in Queens.
The M won’t be running between Metropolitan Avenue in Queens and Essex Street in Manhattan. Take the J or a shuttle bus instead.
Broad Street-bound J trains skip Flushing Avenue, Lorimer Street, and Hewes Street in Brooklyn.
G service between Bedford-Nostrand Avenues and Court Square is replaced by free shuttle buses.
How to get out of town (and come back):
On Friday December 21, the Long Island Rail Road will be on a regular weekday schedule with 13 additional trains departing Penn Station between 12:46 p.m. and 3:48 p.m.
Metro-North will also be on a regular weekday schedule with 18 additional “early getaway” trains departing Grand Central Terminal between 12:58 p.m. and 4:11 p.m. In anticipation of lower ridership after 5 p.m. and to accommodate the early getaways, there will be reduced p.m. peak service after 5 p.m., with some train combinations and cancellations.
The Staten Island Railway will have early afternoon express service and additional trains being added to the line 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.
On Monday December 24, Metro North’s East of Hudson service will operate a regular Saturday schedule supplemented with additional service. For Christmas Day, the railroad’s East of Hudson lines will operate a special holiday schedule with hourly service on most line segments, and regular weekend service on all branch lines.
The LIRR will operate on a regular weekend/holiday schedule on December 24 and 25.
Vintage trains are back
The MTA celebrates the holiday season each year with “Shoppers Special” vintage subway trains from the 1930s which run up the Sixth Avenue D, F, M lines and from 2 Avenue on the F line to Rockefeller Center, then up the Central Park West A, C, D lines to 125 Street. This special train runs every Sunday through the rest of the year from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., starting at 125 Street.
Per the whims of the MTA, the schedules above are subject to change, probably for the worst.