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For Immediate Release: 10/06/2016
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500

Advisory: Columbus Day Weekend Travel - On Monday, MBTA will operate on weekday schedule, RMV offices will be closed

Boston – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) advises the public to plan ahead for travel during the upcoming Columbus Day holiday weekend, one of the busiest weekends of the year on state highways, and to take note of special holiday schedules.

In particular, traffic congestion should be expected during late afternoon hours on Thursday, October 6, and Friday, October 7, on highways heading toward popular fall destinations including Cape Cod, New Hampshire, and Maine.

The Boston I-93 southbound HOV lane will open early on Thursday, October 6, at 2 p.m., and on Friday, October 7, at 1 p.m. The HOV lane will not open on Monday, October 10.

Free coffee will be served at more than a dozen service plazas along state highways on Monday night, October 10, from 10:00 p.m., to Tuesday, October 11, at 5:00 a.m. The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90 plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, Route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas.

Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead, allow extra time for travel, and take advantage of the many communication tools now available to help trips go smoothly.

For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:

  • Customers may dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions,
  • Visit mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information,
  • Access MassDOT traffic cameras to view images covering portions of Route 3, Route 6, Route 28, and parts of I-90, I-91, I-93, and I-95: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/TrafficTravelResources/TrafficInformationMap.aspx
  • Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app that provides motorists with real-time traffic conditions across Massachusetts.
  • Download the Ridewise app. Customers may use Ridewise to obtain travel times for various routes including Route 3, Route 6, I-93 and portions of I-90.  The app is available on Android and iPhone. Drivers are advised not to use the app if they are operating a motor vehicle.

MassDOT's Highway Assistance Patrol (HAP) program, sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance, patrols routes in Metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield & Cape Cod, (seasonal), during peak coverage hours, Monday – Friday, 6 a.m., to 10 a.m., and 3 p.m., to 7 p.m., with extended hours on the Massachusetts Turnpike, (I-90), and extended holiday routes in heavy traffic areas. In addition to the HAP vehicles, MassDOT operates an Incident Response Vehicle (IRV) fleet of flatbed tow trucks, also sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance. IRV's assigned to Interstate 93, the Maurice Tobin J. Memorial Bridge, Ted Williams Tunnel, Sumner Tunnel and Callahan Tunnel patrol 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

To save time, money and gas, now is the perfect time to join E-ZPass in advance of All Electronic Tolling (AET), which is scheduled to “go live” on I-90 on Friday evening, October 28. For information, please visit, www.EZPassMA.com

Drivers can save time and fuel by joining E-ZPass to avoid waiting in line at cash toll booths. Travelers are reminded that the Tobin Bridge has already converted to the All-Electronic Tolling system and drivers using the Tobin with no E-ZPass will be mailed a bill via the Pay-by-Plate program.  After AET goes live, drivers with E-ZPass Massachusetts transponders will receive a discount at tolls compared with drivers with no transponder who will be invoiced.

The MBTA will operate on a weekday schedule on Monday, October 10. Please check mbta.com for details.

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) offices will be closed for the Columbus Day holiday on Monday, October 10. The Registry reminds motorists to “Skip the Line, Go Online” and visit www.massrmv.com to begin or complete many license and registration transactions. In addition, AAA members now have the opportunity to conduct many RMV services and some AAA branch office locations.

Drivers are reminded to avoid littering on roadways. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $5,500 for the first offense.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wishes all members of the public a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

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