NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The roads and the rails are expected to be packed once again this July Fourth weekend.

About 41 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles or more. That’s up about 2 percent from the 40.3 million who traveled during last year’s Independence Day weekend, according to auto club AAA.

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The calendar is helping to push up the number of vacationers. The holiday falls on a Friday this year, making it an easy three-day weekend for many travelers.

As usual, the vast majority of travelers will be using their cars: 85 percent. Gas currently costs $3.68 a gallon, up nearly 13 cents from the same time last year.

That means a family driving 200 miles on highways will pay about 75 cents more in total for their holiday gas this year.

Public transportation is also expected to be busy.

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North are adding additional trains from Manhattan Thursday for the getaway rush.

Seventeen extra trains will be leaving from Grand Central Terminal between noon and 4 p.m. and 8 extra trains will be leaving from Penn Station between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The MTA says train service that normally operates to the Hamptons and Montauk only on Fridays will run on Thursday instead.

There will also be earlier afternoon express train service Thursday on the Staten Island Railway.

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Josh Crandall with advises travelers to buy their tickets ahead of time Wednesday to avoid long lines on Thursday.

“We know that 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. will be the peak of the getaway,” he told WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau.

On Friday, LIRR and Metro-North trains as well as New York City subways and buses will operate on a Saturday schedule.

For more information from the MTA, click here.

NJ TRANSIT is also offering early getaway bus and train service on Thursday.

Extra trains will be added on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast, Raritan Valley, Morris & Essex, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines starting at 1 p.m.

There will also be extra buses from the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Hudson River Waterfront starting at noon.

On Friday, trains will run on a weekend/ holiday schedule. Bus schedules will vary by route.

For more information from NJ TRANSIT, click here.

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