Friday, September 4, 2009

Gas prices are high, but many will travel

AAA predicts slight drop from last year

Express Staff Writer

The average price of gas in Idaho is the eighth highest in the United States, and, unlike most parts of the country, is inching higher rather than falling.

Based on AAA's daily Fuel Gauge Report (, Idaho's average price for a gallon of regular gas has risen eight cents since Aug. 13, to $2.72. On the same day, Idaho's average gas price crossed paths with a dropping U.S. price, pegged today at $2.61. But there is an upside: The price of fuel is much less than one year ago when gas averaged $3.68 per gallon.

The AAA travel organization says it expects more than 39.1 million travelers to take a trip of 50 miles or more from home during this last three-day weekend of the summer, a decrease of 13.3 percent from 2008 when Labor Day travel was the highest in a decade. However, if the projected numbers pan out, this weekend could be the third busiest holiday period in the past decade.

"This year's projection is more of a nuanced story, but it actually makes sense when you consider all the factors, including when the holiday falls, what was happening a year ago, and how the economy is playing out this year," AAA spokesman Dave Carlson said.

AAA said it expects 141,700 Idahoans to be passengers or drivers in motor vehicles this weekend, a 3.7 percent drop from last summer.

"Plenty of Idahoans will be hitting the road to enjoy outdoor activities and visit friends and relatives," Carlson said.

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