With gas prices down and the recession ebbing, more than 4 million Californians are expected to travel during Labor Day weekend, an 11 percent increase from last year, according to AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris.
“We went through [the Great Recession] and the people who tended to travel at this time last year changed plans before the weekend,” Harris said. “The increase in travelers is good news because it’s an upward trend we have been seeing throughout the year.”
Caltrans spokesman Stephen Williams said the surge in travelers can partly be explained by people taking one last vacation before the school year gets into full swing.
The holiday weekend is officially Friday through Monday, but many will be making it a four-day weekend, taking today off for travel purposes.
Since Labor Day seems to be more of a family-oriented holiday compared to Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, many families will stay close to home.
The vast majority will travel by car, likely as a result of decreased gas prices. AAA predicts that 3.5 million Californians will be taking day trips or shorter overnight trips, driving approximately only 50 miles.
Aside from increased volume on roads, commuters will likely have a smooth drive as Caltrans said they will not be doing any road construction during the weekend. Also, no street closures have been reported in San Francisco or on the Peninsula.
While many will celebrate the holiday at home, more than 300,000 are expected to fly and 170,000 Californians will utilize other modes of transportation.