Low gas prices contribute to large number of Ohioans expected to travel over Labor Day weekend

IndustriesAssociated Press

Ohio motorists can expect to have plenty of company on the roads this Labor Day weekend.

The AAA Auto Club says 1.5 million Ohio residents are expected to be among the 35.3 million people in the U.S. taking trips of at least 50 miles from home this weekend. That's the highest number of projected travelers during the holiday weekend since 2008.

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Cheap gas helps. Gas prices have stabilized since a mid-August increase to around $3 a gallon because of refinery problems in Indiana.

Last year, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio was $3.49 during Labor Day weekend, according to AAA. As of Friday, it was $2.24.

The national average price of gasoline this Labor Day weekend will be its lowest at this time of year since 2004, a result of low oil prices and a quiet hurricane season that has allowed refineries to churn out gasoline and diesel.

The national average price of gasoline fell to $2.42 Friday. U.S. consumers should save more than $1 billion on gasoline over the holiday weekend compared to 2014, with many drivers saving about $15 to $25 on every trip to the gas station, according to AAA.

Nationally, the majority of Labor Day weekend travelers — 30.4 million — are expected to be driving to their final destination. More than 2.6 million will be traveling by air, the highest volume of Labor Day air travel since 2007. Nearly 2.64 million travelers will opt for other modes of transportation like train, bus or boat.

U.S. national parks, which have already seen a surge in visitors so far this year, are expected to be crowded over the Labor Day weekend.