© 2022 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

High gas prices not expected to keep travelers from roadways Memorial Day weekend

Early afternoon bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 93 in Milton, Massachusetts.
Jesse Costa
/
WBUR
Early afternoon bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 93 in Milton, Massachusetts.

Despite high gas prices, AAA says it expects busy roadways for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

About 39 million people nationally are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, an 8.3% increase from the same time last year.

Mary Maguire with AAA Northeast said 950,000 travelers are projected to be from Massachusetts.

"Of those, about 860,000 will take to the roads," Maguire said. "That's about 90% of all of those traveling, getting behind the wheel despite record-breaking gas prices."

Maguire said one reason is the pandemic and travelers wanting to be able to control their own environment.

"You can travel with your bubble," Maguire said. "You can travel with vaccinated, boosted friends and family who have done COVID tests the morning that you leave for the weekend."

Still, air travel is expected to increase 25% nationally from last Memorial Day weekend.

At Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, where a bump in passengers is predicted, COVID-19 remains a factor.

“It is still not in line with what we had seen in 2019, but the numbers are continuing to climb and we do anticipate a busy summer travel season," said Alisa Sisic, public information officer with the Connecticut Airport Authority, which oversees Bradley.

Nationally, AAA said air travel is anticipated to be down 6.3% from 2019 levels.

Memorial Day Commemorations Planned

The Memorial Day holiday will be marked by parades and ceremonies throughout the long weekend.

Springfield will hold a ceremony at noon Friday at City Hall. Hadley, Massachusetts, will hold a parade Sunday afternoon. On Monday, several western Massachusetts communities will hold parades including: Agawam, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Ludlow, Northampton, North Adams, Pittsfield and Westfield.