Travel News

Everything you need to know about Thanksgiving travel in Dallas

Everything you need to know about Thanksgiving travel in Dallas

Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot
If you're on the move on the Thanksgiving holiday. Photo courtesy of Fort Worth YMCA

Thanksgiving Day is practically here, and Dallas travelers need logistic information on when to move, where, and how.

To offer some perspective, Google compiled a traffic report to pinpoint the best and worst times to leave for a Thanksgiving road trip. That includes the best and worst days and times to get on the road in Dallas.

This calls for a bulleted list (the first of many). According to Google:

  • Best day to leave: Thanksgiving day, 6 am
  • Worst day to leave:  Wednesday, 3 pm
  • Best day to return: Sunday, 6 am
  • Worst day to return:  Friday, 3 pm

DART holiday schedule
On Thanksgiving, Dallas Area Rapid Transit buses and light rail trains will operate on a Sunday schedule. On Friday November 23, they'll operate on a Saturday schedule.

The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) will not operate Thanksgiving Day, and will observe Saturday service hours on Friday.

On DART and TRE, regular scheduled transit service will resume Saturday November 24.

In Fort Worth, Trinity Metro customer service locations will be closed, and Trinity Metro bus and Access paratransit services will operate on Sunday schedules.

DART Paratransit will operate on a holiday schedule Thanksgiving Day and the day after. The Paratransit Scheduling Center will be closed both days.

DART's customer information center will be closed Thanksgiving Day and open Friday 8 am-5 pm.

Lyft free rides
In 2017, Lyft saw a 35 percent increase in late-night rides on the night before Thanksgiving. They say the night is known as "Blackout Wednesday" because it is one of the heaviest drinking days of the year. Who knew?

With AAA predicting the highest volume of Thanksgiving travelers in a dozen years, including 4.1 million Texans traveling 50 miles or more, Lyft is stepping in to help Dallas-Fort Worth residents by providing $50,000 in free rides across the state.

These free rides are part of Lyft’s commitment to reduce drinking and driving through its Ride Smart TX program. Texans can claim their free Lyft ride (up to $10 discount) by applying RIDESMARTTHANKS in the Lyft app (offer valid November 21 through November 23 at 2 am).

New Love Field parking lot
Dallas Love Field has opened a new cell phone lot for drivers waiting to pick up arriving passengers.

The new lot is accessible from the airport entrance at Mockingbird Lane and Herb Kelleher Way. The lot is located just east of Herb Kelleher Way between it and Aubrey Avenue. Drivers can reach the lot from Aubrey Avenue by following the cell phone lot signage.

Those wishing to greet passengers in the terminal may park at lower-cost hourly rates in any of the three parking garages or valet. The first 30 minutes are free in Garages A, B, and C. Parking rates are listed at dallas-lovefield.com. With the addition of the cell phone lot, Express Pickup in Garage A will close on December 3.

The cell phone lot is exclusively for those picking up passengers on the upper level roadway. Ground transportation vehicles such as taxis, transportation network companies, and limos are not permitted to stage in the cell phone lot.

Turkey Trot warnings
A special event permit has been issued for the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot for Thanksgiving Day at 9 am. Projected attendance is 40,000 people. Road closures related to this special event will impact traffic around Dallas City Hall and Downtown Dallas.

The following streets will be closed to traffic for event staging on Wednesday, November 21:

Young Street – All lanes closed between Saint Paul Street and Park Avenue on Wednesday from 6 p.m. until Thursday at 5 p.m.
The streets listed below will be intermittently closed to traffic on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. until noon, while participants pass through. Most streets will close 15 minutes ahead of participants and streets will be reopened as the last participant passes through.

  • Young Street – All lanes closed between Griffin Street and Harwood Street on Thursday from 4 am-1 pm
  • Young/Canton Street – All lanes closed from Akard Street to Hall Street
  • Hall Street – All lanes closed from Canton Street to Main Street
  • Main Street – All lanes closed from Hall Street to Houston Street
  • Market Street – All lanes closed from Main Street to Young Street
  • Houston Street – All lanes closed from Main Street to Reunion Boulevard
  • Reunion Boulevard West – All westbound lanes closed to Hotel Drive
  • Hyatt Regency Dallas Hotel access available at Reunion Boulevard East
  • Hotel Street – All northbound lanes closed from Reunion Boulevard to Sports Street
  • Dedicated lane available for Hyatt Regency Dallas Hotel access
  • Reunion Boulevard – All eastbound lanes closed from Hotel Drive to Sports Street
  • Sports Street – All northbound lanes closed from Reunion Boulevard to North Drive
  • Hyatt Regency Dallas Hotel access provided by DPD Officer
  • North Drive – All lanes closed from Sports Street to Hotel Street
  • Hotel Street – All lanes closed from Memorial Drive to Reunion Boulevard East
  • Houston Street – All southbound lanes closed from Reunion Boulevard East
  • Marsalis Avenue/Houston Street Viaduct – All lanes closed from Houston Street to Colorado Boulevard
  • Colorado Boulevard – All lanes closed from North Zang to North Marsalis Avenue
  • Blaylock Drive – All lanes closed from Colorado Boulevard to East 5th Street
  • East 5th Street – All lanes closed from Blaylock Drive to Beckley Avenue
  • Beckley Avenue – All lanes closed from East 5th Street to Zang Boulevard
  • Zang Boulevard – All northeast lanes closed from Beckley Avenue to Jefferson Street Viaduct
  • Jefferson Street Viaduct – All northeast lanes closed from Zang Boulevard to Market Street
  • Market Street – All northbound lanes closed from Jefferson Street Viaduct to Young Street
  • Young Street – All lanes closed from Market Street to Marilla Street

Parking at meters will be restricted from Wednesday November 21 at 9 am-Thursday November 22 at 5 pm for event staging along the following streets:

  • Young Street from Akard Street to Harwood Street
  • Browder Street/South Ervay Street from Young Street to Marilla Street

Also, meters along the entire route will be hooded beginning Thursday, November 22 at 3 am and will be removed by 2 pm that afternoon.

DART and Turkey Trot
DART Rail will operate three additional Red Line trains and one additional Blue Line train on Thursday morning due to the 2018 Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot:

  • Additional Red Line trains from Parker Road Station depart at 7:13 am, 7:43 am, and 8:13 am, and arrive at Convention Center Station at 8 am, 8:30 am, and 9 am. These trains operate to all stations between Parker Road and Cedars stations.
  • An additional Blue Line train from Downtown Rowlett Station departs at 7:22 am and arrives at Convention Center Station at 8:05 am. This train operates to all stations between Downtown Rowlett and Cedars stations.

The race will impact bus service in Downtown Dallas, Deep Ellum, and North Oak Cliff and place several routes on detour Thanksgiving morning beginning at 9 a.m. Routes affected include: 2, 11, 12, 19, 21, 26, 29, 35, 42, 52, 59, 60, 76, 81/82, 110, 111, 161, 164, D-Link (722) and 749. Click here to view specific detour information.

The day after
​Based on data compiled from prior holidays, Lyft shares its top 10 Black Friday destinations:

  • Walmart
  • Galleria Dallas
  • NorthPark Center
  • Target
  • Parks at Arlington Mall
  • Stonebriar Mall
  • Town East Mall
  • Irving Mall
  • Best Buy
  • The Shops at Willow Bend

If you hate crowds, these are your top 10 places to avoid.