Here's How to Avoid the Heaviest Traffic on Labor Day Weekend

Above-average traffic levels are expected this Labor Day weekend as CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky advises unvaccinated people against traveling 

In this Aug. 6, 2020, file photo, Boston traffic at evening rush hour.
Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Traffic is expected to be bad this Labor Day weekend, per predictions from Massachusetts transportation officials. Here's how you can avoid the worst of it:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is advising the public to drive during off peak hours, utilize traffic technology tools like and consider public transportation, where masks are required.



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“We expect traffic levels to be high this Labor Day Weekend especially during the afternoon hours on Thursday and Friday,” Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said. “Anyone driving should plan ahead, anticipate that trips will take longer than expected, and if possible use public transportation to reach destinations.”

Meanwhile, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky advised unvaccinated people against traveling over the upcoming Labor Day weekend, CNBC reports, as the U.S. battles back a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations caused by the highly contagious delta variant.

"Given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take their own -- these risks into their own consideration as they think about traveling," Walensky said during a White House Covid briefing Tuesday, noting that people who are fully vaccinated and wear masks can travel. "If you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling."

If you are traveling, MassDOT is taking some steps in an attempt to ease the congestion, including closing registry customer centers Monday and shutting down scheduled construction starting at 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3, until Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The Interstate 93 HOV lane will have extended afternoon hours Thursday and Friday, starting at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. The HOV lane will be closed Monday, Sept. 6, and resume normal hours on Tuesday, Sept. 7. 

The additional “swing lane” on Route 1A southbound at the Sumner Tunnel will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6. Normal deployment resumes on Tuesday, Sept. 7, from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Transportation officials warn that drivers should avoid littering on roadways. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $5,500 for the first offense.

A federal mask mandate remains in place at all transportation facilities.

Air Travel

All passengers and staff have to wear face coverings while at the airport and cruise terminals like Boston Logan International Airport, Worcester Regional Airport, Hanscom Field.

Transportation officials are encouraging travelers who are flying out of Logan Airport to plan ahead by checking for construction updates at

MassDOT’s Highway Assistance Program, sponsored by MAPFRE, will be increasing patrols on all major roadways to support roadside assistance needs. Requests for assistance can be initiated by calling 911.


The MBTA has released the following information regarding Labor Day weekend travel on Monday, Sept. 6:

  • All subway and commuter rail lines, buses, trackless trolleys, and commuter rails will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • There will be no ferry service on the F1 (Hingham - Boston). 
  • All other ferry lines will operate on a weekend schedule. 
  • The RIDE will operate on a Sunday schedule. 
  • Please note that there is no Sunday service for the Stoughton and Needham lines.
  • For more information, visit:  
  • De to COVID-19, masks are mandatory on MBTA vehicles, at MBTA stations and at bus stops.
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