If you’re planning to do any traveling over the upcoming long holiday weekend, whether by car or plane, be prepared for longer than normal waits and delays.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced nearly 11 million air passengers and vehicles are expected to use its airports and vehicular crossings from Friday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Jan. 2.

The agency estimates that nearly 7 million vehicles will use its bridges and tunnels over that 11-day period.

That would be similar to vehicular volume over the same pre-pandemic holiday period in 2019.

For that reason, all lane closures for non-emergency construction at its crossings will be suspended through this holiday travel period.

If you’re catching a flight you’ll have plenty of company.

damedeeso GettyImages
damedeeso GettyImages

Jammed airports

The Port Authority says nearly 4 million air passengers are expected to use the agency’s airports during the same 11-day period, which would be approximately 95 percent of total passengers that traveled by air during the same holiday period in pre-pandemic 2019.

Volume at Newark Liberty International airport is expected to be particularly robust this holiday travel season with the number of domestic passengers anticipated to surpass 2019 levels by 2 percent.

The Port Authority is encouraging anyone going to the airports to try to make parking reservations ahead of time, or plan to take public transit because facilities will be jammed.

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At the airports & on AirTrain

At all hours, free shuttle buses operate between all LaGuardia Airport terminals for passengers and employees making terminal connections.

AirTrain JFK customers are strongly encouraged to purchase or refill their MetroCards in advance to avoid lines at fare machines.

Going over bridges & through tunnels

Urban traffic congestion sign saying Expect Delays
mrdoomits GettyImages

From 5 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23,  to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 2, non-emergency construction work is suspended at all Port Authority crossings, including overnight closures related to the Superstorm Sandy repair and resiliency project at the Holland Tunnel.

At the Midtown Bus Terminal & George Washington Bus Station

Customers should check for the most updated trip departure times and itineraries with their individual bus carriers, some of which may be operating holiday service or reduced schedules.

Traveling on PATH

Train service will operate on PATH’s regular Saturday schedule on the following days: Christmas Day and on New Year’s Eve. The Journal Square to 33 St (via Hoboken) and Newark to World Trade Center lines will operate. For PATH service schedules during major holidays, click here.

Visit www.panynj.gov/StayOnTrack or download the PATH mobile app, RidePath.

COVID travel restrictions

The Port Authority continues to follow the guidance of the New York state and New Jersey public health authorities with respect to mask mandates at its public transportation facilities. Per current New York and New Jersey public health guidance, masks are no longer required at the agency’s New York and New Jersey facilities, but masks are now optional and welcome for all who choose to wear them.

Also, masks also are no longer required on the interstate PATH system, including stations and platforms.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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