Kate Hinds is an Associate Producer for WNYC News. She also reports for WNYC and Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
Holiday Getaway Day: T-Minus 48 Hours
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 04:41 PM
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) If you're taking to the road this holiday season, you'll have a lot of company. The American Automobile Association says that over 92 million Americans will make trips of at least 50 miles from December 23 to January 2. AAA New York spokesman Robert Sinclair said it could be an augur of a financial uptick.
"We're thinking that the improvement in the economy, at least on a personal level for a lot of people, is the reason that people are getting out there," he said. "And probably some pent up demand."
Sinclair also expects the distances people are traveling to be longer as well, with an average trip length of 1,052 miles. That's a 33 percent increase over last year. And 93 percent of those travelers will be in their cars. He said that the remainder of the travelers fly (3 percent) or use rail, bus or even watercraft.
According to AAA's surveys, New Yorkers are 50 percent more likely than the rest of the country to take road trips in part because of economic conditions.
"We tend to have a higher median income in New York and environs than the rest of the country," he said, "so we have nice cars, we have cash in our pocket, and we like to take advantage of both those things by going out and taking a long trip."
According to the AAA, the biggest travel days will likely be Christmas Eve and January 2nd.