Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

Labor Day travel expected to grow for fourth straight year

A couple interesting factors will combine to make this Labor Day travel period busier than last.

In Atlanta, the start of the official travel period on Thursday will be even more of a hassle than usual because three major events will be happening intown this evening.

This year there's a new wrinkle to Labor Day weekend. The holiday, celebrated on the first Monday of September, falls on the latest date it can possibly be this year (Sept. 7). That means kids everywhere around the country are likely to be back in school, and families will be less inclined to travel.

However, gas prices are at their lowest levels since 2004. And lower prices at the pump usually lead to more road trips. The national average price of gas was $2.59 per gallon on Aug. 31, which is 84 cents less than a year ago, according to AAA. Gas prices are 21 cents a gallon below the 2015 peak price reached on June 15.

Apparently, those factors just about cancel each other out, because overall travel will tick up by just 1 percent over last year, AAA says. 35.5 million travelers are projected venture 50 miles or more from home. That's the highest volume for the holiday since 2008, and the fourth consecutive year of overall travel growth.

Eighty-four percent of travelers will drive, 7.4 percent will fly and 6.8 percent will take a train, bus or cruise. In Georgia, that amounts to:

  • 874,362 auto travelers
  • 73,525 air travelers
  • 52,937 train, bus or cruise passengers

    Labor Day travel.jpg

Reader Comments ...