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What you need to know about taking public transportation to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

NY: St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Thousands of revelers lined 5th Avenue for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is this Saturday! As you dust off your best green outfit, you’re going to need to figure out how you’re going to get there.

Here’s what you should consider if you are traveling to see the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Getting there by subway

For parade day, your best route is the Lexington Avenue 4/5/6 line, which covers the entire parade route. Each station is a short walk over to Fifth Avenue. To reach Fifth Avenue directly, commuters can take the E/F train to the 5th Ave/53rd St. station, the R to 59 St-Lexington Ave, or the D/F line to 42 St-Bryant Park or 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center. 

A note to subway riders: N trains will not operate between Queens and Manhattan. N trains operate via the Q line between Times Sq-42 St & 96 St-2 Av in Manhattan, and for service to Astoria, take the R train to Queens Plaza and transfer to the Q108 Shuttle Bus to 39 Av for N shuttle trains to Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. 7 trains will also not be operating between Queens and Manhattan, and will operate between Main St and 74 St-Broadway only. For service to Manhattan, take the E, F or R.

Impacted bus routes

Due to the parade route, the following bus routes will be impacted, including the M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M31, M50, M55, M57, M66, M72, M79 SBS, Q32, and most express buses. Customers can check new.mta.info to monitor their route during the parade.

LIRR & Metro-North

Getting into the city, Grand Central Madison is the station closest to all the parade action. The LIRR will have ushers at the terminal directing customers to the many street exits leading to Madison Avenue between E. 42nd Street and E. 48th Street.  

Both the LIRR and Metro-North will have expanded schedules on Saturday. The LIRR is adding extra trains to and from the parade throughout the day, including 15 extra westbound trains to Manhattan prior to the parade, four on the Ronkonkoma Branch, 4 on the Babylon Branch, one on the Montauk Branch, two extra trains on the Port Jefferson Branch one from Huntington and one from Port Jefferson and one train from Great Neck to Penn Station, plus one train from Great Neck and one from Long Beach will go directly to Grand Central Madison. Transfers at Jamaica to Grand Central Madison will be available for all added trains.

After the parade, the LIRR is adding 16 eastbound trains into the schedule, including five trains on the Babylon Branch, four on the Ronkonkoma Branch, two trains to Huntington, one to Port Jefferson and one to Great Neck that will depart from Penn Station. One train to Long Beach and one train to Great Neck will depart from Grand Central Madison and one extra train will operate to Speonk from Penn. 

In addition to its expanded schedule, Metro-North is adding seven scheduled extra trains – three on the Hudson Line, two on the Harlem Line and two on the New Haven Line – along with extra equipment available to operate additional trains if necessary. 

There will be an alcohol ban in effect on both the LIRR and Metro-North; the ban will be in effect all day Saturday on the Metro-North, while on the LIRR the ban will be in effect from midnight Saturday through 5:00 a.m. Monday, March 18.