One reason for the decline is timing. Cynthia Harris with AAA of Northern California points out that, Labor Day is later this year and a lot of kids have already settled back into school.
“Last year Labor Day fell on the first of September. That wasn’t the case this year. So that’s another reason why there are less people. But it’s not the main reason.”
The main reason Harris says is the recession: job losses, the mortgage crisis and the fragile economy in general.
“We have seen a reduction of travel for every major holiday weekend.”
But Harris says there’s good news for people who are traveling – gas prices are down from last year at this time, hotel rates are generally cheaper, and airfares are lower on average too.
And if you’re driving don’t forget – the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is closed all weekend for seismic retrofit work. Harris says that could cause some serious traffic jams on alternate routes through the Bay Area.
“Because more than likely there are going to be more people on the road because there’s going to be one less bridge available for transportation.”
The Bay Bridge is scheduled to reopen to traffic again by 5 AM Tuesday.