One of the great things about living way the hell out in a provincial backwater like the Berkshires is that almost NONE of the travel advisories that pertain to the rest of the state pertain to us. We absolutely don’t have to GAF that Storrow Drive is closed between X and Y. Orange Line experiencing limited service? So what! Oh! And commuter rail to Fitchburg may experience delays? Go ahead — say one more fucking word about commuter rail out East when we can’t even get to Springfield and back in one lifetime, we fucking dare you. All while our taxes pay for transportation conveniences you take for granted.
But…still. We know that some of our readers may be making their way back East to celebrate Independence Day in Boston. I’ve had the good fortune of watching the fireworks over the Charles, and I can’t fault anyone for wanting to soak up those 1776 vibes in America’s Down-with-the-Crown capitol. So, we present to you this PSA from MASSDOT.
Editor’s Note: The following article is derived from officially released information, published with few or no editorial changes. The Greylock Glass occasionally provides our readers with such content if the information is factual in nature, and requires little to no interpretation or analysis, often when original reportage would provide little to no additional relevant information.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is asking the public to plan ahead this Fourth of July, and to expect increased holiday travel. If driving, plan for trips utilizing MassDOT’s many “real time” travel tools, and if taking public transportation, to check holiday schedules in regard to your trip.
“The number of people traveling has been steadily increasing since early spring so members of the public should expect to find it busy on the roads and on public transportation this holiday weekend,” said Acting Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “And while the Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to report approximately 4.2 million individuals in the state are fully vaccinated, travelers should be prepared for some COVID-19 restrictions to continue in some instances, including a mask mandate on public transportation and some health policies specific to some establishments.”
“We ask that anyone traveling for the Fourth to plan ahead,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “With the Fourth falling on the weekend, travelers should expect higher volumes on Friday and Monday. We urge everyone to slow down and make smart decisions before getting behind a wheel this weekend.”
MassDOT is taking steps to facilitate the flow of traffic during the holiday period and will be postponing scheduled roadway construction effective at 5:00 a.m., Friday, July 2, with scheduled construction activities resuming at the normal start of business on Tuesday, July 6. In addition, the High Occupancy Vehicle Lane (HOV) between Boston and Quincy on I-93 will open one hour early for the afternoon commute on Thursday, July 1, at 2 p.m. and two hours early on Friday, July 2, at 1 p.m. The HOV lane will re-open during regularly scheduled hours on Monday, July 5. The Sumner Tunnel Swing Lane will open to normal scheduled operations Friday, July 2, and Monday, July 5.
MassDOT has carefully scheduled construction to avoid high summer holiday traffic volume periods so work activities will pause over the Fourth of July Weekend on the project to replace eight bridges during eight weekends on I-90 in Southborough and Westborough.
The MBTA has released the information regarding travel during the holiday period which can be found on www.mbta.com.
Customers are reminded that face coverings are required on all MBTA property, including vehicles, stops, and stations. More on mask requirements on public transportation can be at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-mask-requirements.
Additional subway service will run after 2:00 PM to accommodate Boston Harborfest attendees on Saturday, July 3.
Additional subway service will run after 2:00 PM on Sunday, July 4.
All Bus, and the RIDE service will run on a Sunday schedule on Sunday, July 4.
All Commuter Rail and Ferry service will run on a regular weekend schedule on Sunday, July 4.
All MBTA modes will be free after 9:30 PM on Sunday, July 4.
Subway and Commuter Rail service will run on a Saturday schedule on Monday, July 5.
Bus and the RIDE service will run on a Sunday schedule on Monday, July 5.
Ferry service will run on a weekday schedule on Monday, July 5.
For full MBTA schedule details, please visit:mbta.com/July4
Customers should sign up for T-Alerts and follow @MBTA on Twitter for the latest service information. Real-time parking updates can be found on Twitter @MBTA_Parking.
The MBTA has also provided additional information for those traveling to see the Boston Common fireworks on Sunday, July 4.
In the interest of public safety, Park Street and Boylston Stations will close at 8 PM. Nearby Green Line service is available at Government Center or Arlington. Nearby Red Line service is available at Downtown Crossing or South Station.
Commuter Rail lines will hold the last outbound train for riders returning from fireworks on the Common.
Customers should be aware that the City of Boston will close some streets near the Boston Common.
Customers are also advised that all Commonwealth of MA Administrative offices are closed on Monday, July 5, including the Registry of Motor Vehicles customer service centers. Please visit, at any hour of the day, the RMV online to learn more: www.mass.gov/RMV. In addition, AAA members can conduct many RMV services at numerous AAA branch office locations in Massachusetts during AAA normal business hours.
Massport expects higher than normal traveler volume over the weekend. Additionally, there are several ongoing construction projects happening at the airport. Airport travelers are advised to allow for extra time while getting to and from Logan Airport. Massport encourages travelers to use the MBTA Blue and Silver Lines, or the Logan Express to get to the airport. More information on transportation options can be found at https://www.massport.com/logan-airport/to-from-logan/transportation-options/.
For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:
Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions.
Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
Visit www.mass511.com, which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
MassDOT wishes all members of the public an enjoyable holiday weekend and reminds the public that the mask requirement remains in place in certain spaces. Additionally, if you are sick you are asked not to travel. And if you are having symptoms of Covid-19 you should get tested. For more information about Covid-19 and to get a vaccine visit: www.mass.gov/covid-19-updates-and-information.