Travel picks up as gas prices take a drop

DES MOINES — The drop in travel on Iowa’s highways brought on by higher gas prices appears to have eased in September as fuel prices went down.

The Department of Transportation’s Stuart Anderson tracks the numbers. “We’ve seen that as fuel prices have moderated, we’ve seen that vehicular travel pick up again,” he says.

Anderson says the increase put travel numbers back to pre-pandemic levels. “September we’re actually about half a percent above the September 2019 levels. So we’re back in the positive range again,” Anderson says.

He says the early look at last month’s numbers shows the trend continuing. “October appears to be just a little bit above October of 2019 as well so so I think we’re past that four or five six month period where we saw the impact on vehicular traffic due to high fuel prices,” he says.

Anderson made his comment in an update last week to the Transportation Commission.