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Here’s what Philly traffic and travel will look like this Memorial Day weekend

Nearly half a million people will travel out of the city

Fernando Garcia Esteban/Shutterstock

The popularity of Memorial Day weekend travel has increased over the past decade; AAA estimates the number of people traveling around the country this weekend will hit almost 42 million—the highest record for Memorial Day weekend travel since 2005.

And Philly is far from immune.

Starting today, AAA estimates nearly 500,000 Philly-area residents will travel over 50 miles throughout the weekend—a 5 percent increase from the number of travelers last year, according to a statement from AAA’s Mid-Atlantic office. Most travelers will drive, but around 33,000 are expected to fly out of Philly and surrounding areas.

Concerned about congestion? That’s understandable. AAA estimates that Thursday and Friday afternoon will see the most heavy traffic, “as afternoon commuters mix with holiday travelers,” according to the statement.

“The unofficial start of the summer season is here and Philadelphia-area residents are ready to kick off the Memorial Day weekend with a trip,” said Jana Tidwell, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

While heavy traffic will likely pose a problem for many travelers, there’s another annoyance to grapple with. Gas prices in and around the city are the most expensive they’ve been since Memorial Day weekend 2014, according to AAA. The prices average at $3.14, and Tidwell says drivers could be paying $1,300 for gas alone this summer.

If the cost and congestion is too much, travelers can always turn to SEPTA, which will operate on a normal schedule all weekend, except for Monday, when buses, trains and trolleys will all operated on a Sunday schedule.

  • Nearly 42 million Americans will take a Memorial Day getaway [AAA]