U.S. DOT: Travel declined in March

High gas prices major factor in driving less

News Philadelphia Enquirer May 25, 2011
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Americans drove less in March for the first time in 13 months, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Miles traveled in March 2011 were 1.4% less than in March 2010.

For the first three months of the year, travel was down 0.1%, compared with the first quarter of 2010.

The major factor in the travel slowdown was the price of gasoline, according to a report in the Philadelphia Enquirer. In a recent survey by AAA, 40% of Memorial Day travelers said high gasoline prices would affect their travel plans, leading them to make shorter trips or spend less on dining, shopping, museums and gambling, while sightseeing, hiking and visiting state or national parks are more popular activities, according to AAA.

Gas prices are about 80 cents higher now than they were in January, according to the Philadelphia Enquirer, and the national average is about $3.84 for a gallon of regular.

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