Updated 11/21/2012 01:10 PM
New Yorkers Hit The Road For Thanksgiving Travel
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It is the busiest travel day of the year, and this time around more drivers are expected to head out of the city for Thanksgiving.
AAA projects more than 43.6 million Americans will travel away from their home city for the holiday.
That is a slight increase from last year and marks the fourth consecutive year of a boost in holiday travelers.
With 90 percent of travelers opting to travel by car, airlines are seeing a slight decline in customers choosing to fly this week.
It is unclear what effect Hurricane Sandy will have on travel around the tri-state area, but it will be tougher for those who planned to rent a car to get out of town.
Many rental companies are reporting a shortage in cars because so many vehicles were damaged in the storm.
Also, drivers have to deal with the city's gas rationing based on odd or even license plate numbers, which is in place through Friday.
Vehicles with license plates that end in an odd number or vanity plates can only get gas at the pump on odd-numbered days, and vehicles with plates that end in an even number and zero can only get gas on even-numbered days.
Certain vehicles are exempt from the rationing, including taxis and emergency medical doctor plates, commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles and buses.
In New York City, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North are running extra trains this afternoon for those looking to get a head start on their trips out of town.
The Port Authority says it will have extra personnel in yellow vests at its airports and the Port Authority Bus Terminal to help customers.
Thanksgiving is a federal, state and local holiday, so all post offices, government offices and courts will be closed.
Public school students have the day off.
Banks and financial markets will be closed and there will be no garbage or recycling pickup or mail delivery.
Metro-North and the LIRR will operate on a holiday schedule and subways and buses will run on a Sunday schedule.
More than a million people are expected to pack the sidewalks Thursday for the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan.
Among them will be 5,000 New Yorkers from areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, including many families, who will be given prime seats.
The parade officially gets underway at 9 a.m., starting at 77th Street and Central Park West.
It heads south to Columbus Circle, then veers to Sixth Avenue, where it will travel down to Macy's.
The lineup is expected to feature hundreds of dancers, cheerleaders, clowns and singers, along with marching bands and dozens of floats.
Special guest performers will include Carly Rae Jepsen and the band Neon Trees.