Travel season in full swing, despite pandemic

Vehicle travel has bounced back in Michigan - even more than some other places in the U.S.

Traffic levels plummeted during the early days of the pandemic. In the waning days of 2020, total miles traveled throughout the U.S. was down 38%.

Now, Michigan residents are making up for lost time – taking brief road trips and long-range vacations that they haven’t been able to for the past year. But those travel rates were already well on their way to normal levels before the end of last year.

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A report by the data analysis group StreetLight Data Inc. shows that even before COVID-19 vaccines became widespread, Michigan drivers were returning to normal driving habits. The trend began in the summer of 2020 as infection rates fell and people made a break for campgrounds and summer homes.

There was a dip in miles traveled in the fall and toward the end of the year when COVID-19 infections soared. But overall it seems the second wave of the pandemic did little to dampen people’s desire to travel.

However, the pandemic definitely had an impact. Travel patterns never quite reached what they were in January 2020. Urban areas saw the most decline in travel, perhaps because of easier access to resources like internet service and public transportation.

You can read the full story on MLive.