PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — There will be close to 51 million people traveling this Thanksgiving, which is the highest it’s been in 12 years, AAA reports.
AAA said travel times could potentially be more than three times longer over the holiday weekend as a result. Even with 90 percent of travelers driving this year, AAA says the amount of people taking train will also increase.
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“I don’t mind it that much because everyone’s trying to get to their own place,” Marta Calise of Providence said. “And you just have to be a little understanding I guess.”
The crowds haven’t hit the Providence station yet, but they are expected to this week. During the holiday season last year, Amtrak carried a total of about 750,000 passengers.
“We expect similar numbers to that this year and we encourage people to come and book early in advance because trains may sell out, even though we’re adding extra trains and seats on board,” Amtrak spokesperson Jason Abrams said Monday.
Last year, Providence was Amtrak’s 11th busiest station in the country. For this week, Amtrak expects Tuesday and Wednesday, plus the Sunday after Thanksgiving, to be the busiest.
“A big part of bringing friends and family together is trains,” Abrams added. “It’s been a part of America’s transportation for hundreds of years.”
Amtrak officials recommend arriving at the station 30-45 minutes early if you have a ticket and 45 minutes to an hour early if you have a ticket but need to check a bag and at least an hour early if you do not yet have a ticket.
Abrams also said passengers can expect increased security this year, which will include more officers and K-9’s on duty.