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Students ready for break, lower gas prices

Beat Reporter

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 22:11


Jessica Smith

Monte Branstetter, sophomore, pumps gas at the Marathon on the corner of South Willow Avenue and 12th Street for $3.15 per gallon.

Classes will be in session Wednesday, but those planning to travel the day before Thanksgiving can expect heavy traffic but lower gas prices.

In a survey conducted by AAA, 45 percent of participants planned to depart for Thanksgiving travel Wednesday.

According to a Nov. 13 press release from AAA, more Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving this year than in 2011.

Don Lindsey, public affairs director for AAA Tennessee, said out of the 43.6 million people expected to put in the miles, about 90 percent will travel by automobile. Tennessee is expected to account for about 953,000 of the holiday travelers.

Tracy Black, research analyst for the office of institutional research at Tech, said in fall 2011 approximately 93-94 percent of Tech students were from Tennessee, but a little more than 38 percent were from the Upper Cumberland region. She said those numbers have stayed consistent over the years.

Lindsey said among reasons for increased travel is increased financial comfort this year, and gas prices have also been falling.

As of Nov. 13, gas prices in Tennessee averaged $3.16. According to the trend in prices in recent weeks, Thanksgiving travelers may see them continue to fall.

“Gasoline can change price in a heartbeat, so it’s very dicey predicting what gas will do only even a week out,” Lindsey said. “But if nothing else changes, if the pattern stays the way it is now, we should see the price of gasoline continue to fall for a while.”

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