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Holiday travel projected to break records

Traffic on Broadway in New York snarled with cars and pedestrians during the outage, which shut down traffic lights and subway service.
AAA predicts substantial increase in weekend travel.

AAA predicts a record-breaking amount of holiday travelers over Fourth of July weekend.

Shawn Steward, a spokesman for AAA in South Dakota, said people should expect busy highways and airports for the next week.

“AAA is projecting 50.7 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles from their homes this Independence Day weekend,” Steward said. “And that’s a new record for this holiday travel. It’s 2.1 million people more than last year, and that’s up 4.3%.”

Steward said a potential cause for the drastic increase is making up for lost time after the pandemic. Another factor could be the lower gas prices across the state. AAA reports gas prices averaging around $3.45 in South Dakota, about $1.30 less per gallon than last year at this time.

With an increase in travel comes an increase in vehicle breakdowns. According to a press release, AAA service vehicles responded to almost 450 roadside service requests in South Dakota. Steward suggests travelers make sure their vehicles are in good condition before leaving town.

AAA predicted air travel would also break its previous travel record with 4.17 million Americans flying over the holiday weekend. Despite ticket prices being 40%-50% more than last year, bookings haven’t slowed down.

Alternative forms of transportation, such as bus, cruise, and train are projected to increase 24% from last year.

Veda is an English and journalism major at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. She loves writing and storytelling, and she plans to pursue a career as a journalist after graduation.