Massachusetts transportation officials are anticipating record volumes of traffic today and Wednesday leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, and urging drivers heading for far-flung destinations to travel after peak hours.
The expected driving rain Wednesday will slow traffic on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
“Even without the holiday traffic, this would have been tough,” Frank DePaola, the state’s highway administrator, said at a news briefing. “Traditionally, we see a lot of congestion at the major interchanges, and people should anticipate higher-than-normal traffic.”
The boston.com traffic information service showed slow going for drivers this evening, particularly on the Massachusetts Turnpike heading west — all the way from Boston to Sturbridge.
Logan International Airport is preparing for the influx of travelers by adding extra staff and stocking their concession stands, said Matthew Brelis, a spokesman for Massport.
The airport is advising those flying out or picking up someone at Logan to check with their airline directly for information on delays.
“The weather is the wild card in this,” said Brelis. He said flights coming from other parts of the country could be impacted by inclement conditions. Travelers can check fly.faa.gov for information on delays.
Fliers are urged to arrive two and a half hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights, Massport said.
Amtrak is urging people to avoid highway congestion and possible weather-related delays at the airport by riding the train. Amtrak said they still have seats available on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday trains for holiday trekkers in the Northeast corridor.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will offer additional Silver Line service Wednesday through Friday to accommodate travelers using Logan International Airport.
On Wednesday, the Hingham commuter boat will provide extra service from Rowes Wharf, but will end service at 7 p.m.
On Thursday, the T will operate on a Sunday schedule, with a few exceptions. The Fairmount, Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, and Needham commuter rail lines and the commuter boats will not operate at all. A number of bus routes also will not operate. Riders can check mbta.com to see if their route will be providing service.
On Friday, all branches of the Green Line will operate on a Saturday schedule.