AAA: Holiday travel expected to be up this year

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – This could be an even busier weekend on Ohio roadways and around the country.

The auto club AAA is predicting nearly 1.5 million Ohioans will be traveling at least 50 miles from home over the Labor Day holiday, which is a bump of about half a percent from last year. Experts are crediting increased consumer spending for the trend.

Nationally, nearly 35 million people will do some traveling this weekend, which is an increase of about 1.3 percent from 2013.

And on Friday, the Ohio Turnpike Commission was thanking some of those travelers with a Customer Appreciation Day at the turnpike’s Mahoning Valley Service Plaza in Springfield Township, just a few miles from the Pennsylvania line. Turnpike workers offered free food samples from restaurants in the food court of the toll plaza and troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol were on hand to offer safe driving tips.

There also was information about the state’s E-Z Pass program.

“It is a great way to save time and money, up to 50 percent off tolls, and they are available at these service plazas. That is not widely known yet, but you can get your E-Z Pass at the service plaza,” Brian Newbacker from the Ohio Turnpike Commission said.

Friday was the fifth Customer Appreciation event held at different service plazas along the Ohio Turnpike.

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