AAA Regional Director: People May Shift When They Travel This Thanksgiving

November 24, 2014 | Transportation

It’s always the biggest travel holiday of the year and AAA says this year more than a million New Jersey residents will be hitting the roads, waterways, and runways this Thanksgiving. That’s the most since 2007. New Jersey AAA Regional Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations Cathleen Lewis told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that if the weather around Thanksgiving is bad, a shift in when people are traveling may be seen.

“We have really seen for the past couple of years, there has been this slow uptick. This year there really was that surge. 4 percent up, it means that people have confidence. They are saying I am going to travel. Low gas prices helps makes that decision for some people. So this is just good news all around. Unless you are on the roadways,” said Lewis.

The economy has improved more in the rest of the country than it has in New Jersey. Lewis said that is true but New Jersey is only slightly behind the national averages when it comes to travel. She said New Jersey is at 4.2 percent over all increase and the national is 4.3 percent. She said that New Jersey is following the trends and that is a good indicator.

Gas prices are lower and airline tickets aren’t lower even though one may presume that jet fuel is also lower. Lewis said that it has not translated to the airlines. She said that for most holidays she has seen more people going on the roadways, which is the biggest number. She said that gas prices are significantly lower and the average today is $2.71. She said that compared to the rest of the country, New Jersey’s gas prices are lower than most places.

“We always have one of the lowest gas prices in the nation. We are a little bit lower. But really what we are seeing in these trends is that people are hitting the roads, they are deciding that they are going to travel even if they are not quite sure that they have that confidence, they are showing that confidence in their travel,” said Lewis.

With predicted bad weather, Lewis said that what people are going to see is a lot of people shift when they are traveling. She said that she thinks a lot of people are going to look at the weather and decide to leave on Tuesday night or Thursday morning.

“I think that what we are going to see is that it is going to be more traffic on the roads for longer,” said Lewis.