Gas Is Cheap, but This May Slow Labor Day Travel

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There’s good news and bad news for anyone who will be driving this Labor Day weekend.

Gas will be cheaper, but traveling could prove more of a hassle.

The national average gas price for this time of year will be lower than it’s been since 2004, the Associated Press reports. On Thursday, it fell to $2.44 a gallon, which is down almost $1 from last year.

As a result, Oil Price Information Service analyst Tom Kloza tells the AP, American drivers are expected to spend $1.6 billion less from today through Monday while driving more miles over the holiday weekend.

But the U.S. Travel Association reports that the country’s poor road and air travel infrastructure will keep 4.1 million potential travelers at home this weekend.

According to a survey and analysis from the trade association, even among people who plan to travel this weekend, 8.7 percent will travel for fewer days and 9.1 percent will travel shorter distances due to concerns over road congestion and air-travel headaches.

The U.S. Travel Association argues that this problem will only worsen with future Labor Day weekends because Congress has been unable to pass bills regarding the nation’s highway and air travel systems.

Roger Dow, the association’s president and chief executive, says:

“Americans vote with their pocketbooks — and in this case, they’re voting against how Washington has handled our transportation policy. … The lack of a long-term strategy for our highways and air travel system has created the perception for many that they’re better off staying home.”

Considering how many travelers have planned shorter Labor Day weekend trips this year due to infrastructure concerns, the American economy will lose out on $1.7 billion, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

Dow continues:

“Our infrastructure problems go way beyond mere inconvenience — they’re causing economic harm, and we need a long-term vision for tackling them.”

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