Nearly 1 million vehicles on the road across Virginia

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – This is one of the busiest travel days of the year and traffic is getting heavy across central Virginia.

It's a sea of brake lights as cars weave through I-95. Triple A says driving is very popular this season, so is the train...flying though, not so much. The day before Thanksgiving the wait time at the ticket counter is less than five minutes.

"I've heard it's the busiest day of the year to travel, so I am a little bit surprised. Yeah," said passenger Tyler Carwell.

Tyler doesn't have a choice. In order to get home, he has to catch a flight. Richmond International is expecting to see fewer passengers this year. One because they're offering fewer flights, two because of the new restrictions on luggage.

Passenger Patrick Beatty knows airlines now charge for checked bags. It's a small price to pay for slashing a seven-hour drive to Cleveland down to two hour flight.

"Just the time involved and traffic's going to be tough on the roads as well. The weather is not great and I'm heading north so who knows, maybe I'm running into snow or something like that," said Patrick.

Yet driving is still popular. Putting the pedal to the metal? Get ready for company of about a million other drivers. Triple A is reporting an increase, despite a gallon of gas costing $.60 more than it did last year.

Beth Sawyer's family is loaded up and ready to go. Dodging travel crowds and packing what she wants is reason enough to hit the road. The Ragan family says forget about it. They are taking the train.

"There's too much traffic on the road. It's much safer this way. In the long run I'm going to spend more money. Time wise, it's about the same," Edie Ragan said.

Because of gas prices, last year Amtrak reported a record number of passengers. Judging by the crowds, the numbers are still high.

Earlier today, parking wasn't an issue at the airport. It is a major problem at the train station, so if you can, have someone drop you off. Judging by traffic, pack some good tunes, because you could be in your car for a while.

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