New Year's Eve revelers going into and out of New York City can leave their cars home and use Metro-North's "around-the-clock" service to get to and from their parties.
The railroad expects a significant increase in riders but reminds revelers that alcohol is not allowed on trains or in stations.
"It's pretty heavy, which is a good thing," said MTA public information officer Marjorie Anders. "It'll keep people off the highways here. On New Year's Eve, we expect the inbound people coming in between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to be about 24,000."
Anders said that on a regular night, the railroad never carries 24,000 riders.
"We have plenty of service to cover all of that," said Anders. She also said Metro-North is expecting more people to ride the train than last year, though that is dependent upon the weather.
According to an MTA statement, Metro-North will be offering "fast, frequent service to and from Grand Central Terminal." Those trains will run all day and into the early morning of New Year's Eve.
Trains will be running on a special Saturday schedule . There will be extra inbound afternoon/evening service and also all-night outbound service on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines, according to the statement.
Usually, the last train to depart Grand Central on a Sunday leaves at 1:53 a.m. and goes to Stamford. However, according to Anders, only half of the people who come into the City for the New Year's Eve celebration will be gone by 2 a.m. on New Year's morning. Therefore, outbound trains will be provided throughout up until the start of the normal Sunday schedule at 5:35 a.m. Overnight service will also include branch line service to Wassaic and New Canaan.
Dennis Tomkins, a Manhattan resident who works in Pelham, N.Y., is pleased with the expanded hours.
I think its good, said the native of Ireland. The more times you feel like the MTA is trying to help the customer, the better. Instead of the subway system that seems to be going up in prices, but the service doesnt seem to be anything better to honor the fact that theyre pushing up the prices. Well done to the Metro-North and to people with it for doing it.
Anders also passed along a note of advice for the many travelers this weekend.
"If you're smart, you will buy a roundtrip ticket at your home station because Grand Central will be filled with lines," said Anders.
Tips from Metro-North:
Tickets will be collected at each train gate before boarding between midnight and 4:40 a.m.
You are advised, if traveling with friends, to purchase a 10-trip, off-peak ticket because it will save money.
Free parking is available at most train stations.
Alcohol is not allowed at any railroad stations, terminals or while on board Metro-North trains.
Exits at Grand Central North will be closed Dec. 31 through Jan. 2.
On New Year's Eve, the Grand Central Ticket Office will be open all night. In addition, there are 24 ticket vending machines in five locations at Grand Central.
Special timetables for the New Year's Weekend can be found at Grand Central, outlying ticket offices and at mta.info/mnr .
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