Infrastructure in the News: Over the River and Through the Skies, to Grandmother’s House We Go


Does it seem like holiday travel becomes more overwhelming each year? You’re not imagining it. According to  AAA, nearly 49 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home between Wednesday Nov. 23, and Sunday, Nov. 27, making it the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers in nine years.

Whether the increase is from cheaper gas prices, optimism about the economy or another reason, nine out of ten of these 49 million travelers will drive to their Thanksgiving destinations. Our nation’s roads, which already need widespread investment and maintenance, will certainly be strained this holiday season.

But don’t think you are off the hook if you aren’t traveling by car. According to Airlines for America (A4A), air travel is expected to increase by 2.5 percent from last year—the equivalent of 55,000 more passengers a day. Fortunately, airlines are prepared for the increase.  For example, U.S. Airlines will offer 74,000 more seats over the holidays than last year.

Amtrak has also made preparations for this year’s travel season by adding more trains and extra seats on routes in the Northeast, Midwest and on the West Coast. In 2015, Amtrak served more than 751,000 customers during the Thanksgiving holiday, and demand estimates are similar for this year.

Whether you are taking a car, plane or train, you will be relying on our nation’s transportation infrastructure at a time when it’s being stretched to capacity. To ensure adequate and stable funding for America’s roads, bridges and transit, we must #FixTheTrustFund. Hopefully the new administration will make this a priority.

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