The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public to plan ahead for the New Year’s holiday, to drive sober and to take note of holiday schedules for the MBTA, use of the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy, and for visiting Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) customer service center locations.
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 between 5 a.m., Friday, December 28, and the start of business on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, per MassDOT’s long-standing policy of not scheduling work during high volume travel periods.
The I-93 HOV lane between Boston-Quincy will operate on an adjusted schedule through Tuesday, January 1. Today, Thursday, December 27, the HOV lane will open one hour early, at 2 p.m., and remain open until 8 p.m. On Friday, December 28, the HOV lane will operate in the morning on a regular weekday schedule, between the hours of 5 a.m., and 10 a.m., and Friday afternoon, the HOV lane will open two hours early at 1 p.m., and remain open until 8 p.m. On Monday, December 31, the HOV lane will be closed. The HOV lane will resume normal operations on Tuesday, January 1.
The Sumner Tunnel Swing Lane will also operate on an adjusted schedule through January 2, 2019. On Thursday, December 27, the swing lane will be open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Friday, December 28, the swing lane will open at 1 p.m. and remain open until 5 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2. The swing lane will then resume normal operations.
The MBTA has also announced the following schedule information:
• All MBTA services will be free after 8 p.m., Monday, December 31, until the end of service.
• All subway lines will operate a weekend schedule on Monday, December 31, with trains then operating at rush-hour levels of service from 3 p.m., until approximately 2 a.m. On Tuesday, January 1, 2019, all subway lines will operate on a Sunday schedule.
• On Monday, December 31, the Commuter Rail will operate a weekday schedule and provide late-night service. Trains will make all stops enroute 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. The Commuter Rail will operate on a Sunday schedule on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
• Buses will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Monday, December 31, and will operate on a Sunday schedule on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
• Ferry service will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Monday, December 31. There will be no ferry service on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
• The RIDE will operate on a weekday schedule on Monday, December 31. On Tuesday, January 1, The RIDE will operate on a Sunday schedule.
• More information can be found by viewing the full MBTA holiday schedule.
RMV customer service locations will be closed on the state holiday of Tuesday, January 1, 2019. The Registry reminds motorists to “Skip the Line, Go Online” and visit www.mass.gov/RMV to begin or complete many license and registration transactions. In addition, AAA members now have the opportunity to conduct many RMV transactions at AAA branch office locations in Massachusetts.
Free coffee will be served at more than a dozen service plazas along state highways from 10 p.m., Monday, December 31, through 5 a.m., Tuesday, January 1, 2019. These locations include 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.
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 smartphones or tablets. Massport also encourages travelers to check with their airlines before heading to the airport for the most updated flight status and travel information.
Members of the public are encouraged to consider traveling to destinations this holiday season by using public transportation. If driving, individuals are urged to plan ahead, allow extra time for travel, and take advantage of the many communication tools now available to help trips go smoothly.
For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:
• Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
• 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.
• Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.
• Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wishes all members of the public a safe and enjoyable holiday.