Holiday Travelers Will Face Crowds On Rail And Roads | Connecticut Public Radio

Holiday Travelers Will Face Crowds On Rail And Roads

Nov 20, 2018

Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest travel time of the year - when millions of people hit the roads, skies, waterways, and the rail system. 

In preparation, the rail service has beefed up its schedule. Amtrak is offering more trains with additional cars to accommodate holiday travelers. Spokesman Jason Abrams said more than 18,000 Amtrak riders came through Union Station in New Haven last year alone. They’re expecting at least that number this year, possibly more. But Abrams warns not to wait till the last minute.

"As we’re getting closer to the holiday a lot of trains are already sold out," Abrams said. "So if you haven’t already bought a ticket please do so.”

Amtrak had its largest passenger count ever last year with more than 777,000 riders across the country during Thanksgiving week.

On the roadways police said they’ll conduct extra patrols. Connecticut state police spokesperson Tanya Compagnone said troopers will be on the lookout for motorists causing safety problems. That includes motorists who may be traveling to purchase recreational marijuana in neighboring Massachusetts, where the first commercial pot shops opened this week.

“We will look for speeding, we’ll look for weaving in and out of traffic," Compagnone said. "We’ll look for your typical things that you would look for in a DUI. Or if someone may be driving erratically, which could mean that they’re high or intoxicated.”

Allow for extra time and patience - Triple-A is predicting more than 54 million people will be traveling this Thanksgiving - the highest travel volume in over a decade.

Sam Hudzik of New England Public Radio contributed to this report