Thanksgiving Travelers Pack Philly-Area Airports, Rails and Roads

Travelers are urged to pack some patience as they use Pennsylvania’s and New Jersey’s roads, rails and airports over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend

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What to Know

  • Travelers are urged to pack patience as they use Pennsylvania’s and New Jersey’s roads, rails and airports for the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005.
  • Amtrak is rolling extra trains for the holiday.

Travelers heading into and out of the Philadelphia region are urged to be patient as they use the roads, rails and airports over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike predicts 3.6 million cars and trucks will use the toll road through Sunday. Officials are expecting 735,000 vehicles will use the turnpike on Wednesday with the heaviest traffic volume between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates nearly 1.4 million residents will travel 50 miles or more away from home between Wednesday and Sunday. AAA says that's a 2.7 percent increase over 2018 and the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005.

Amtrak is rolling extra trains for the holiday. The railroad says Philadelphia's Gray 30th Street Station saw a 39% increase in ridership on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Amtrak's Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian trains will require reservations through Monday.

New Jersey Transit is offering early getaway train and bus service on Wednesday and extra service will be available for passengers traveling to and from New York for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.

In Philadelphia, SEPTA will be operating trains, buses and trolleys on a special holiday schedule Thursday to get passengers to the Thanksgiving Day Parade and shopping centers.

Travelers should expect longer lines at security checkpoints Philadelphia International Airport. Additional capacity also is available for passengers headed to Newark Liberty International Airport. The Port Authority expects 585,100 passengers will use the airport throughout the holiday weekend.

As for the weather, there are some scattered showers in the Philadelphia region Wednesday morning and afternoon. Temps will push into the 60s before strong winds blow in and drop temps into the 40s for Thanksgiving. The wind will make it feel even colder on Thanksgiving.

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