Aug 31, 2023 - Transit

Watch out for pre-Labor Day weekend traffic on I-4

Illustration of a steering wheel as a clock with a highlighted portion in red

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After sheltering in place as Hurricane Idalia moved through, there's bound to be a lot more people hitting the road for Labor Day weekend.

What's happening: Traffic rates between Tampa and Orlando are expected to skyrocket Thursday and Friday, according to INRIX, a global provider of transportation data and insights that works with AAA to find best/worst car travel times.

Why it matters: Planning to drive during off times could save you hours in the car, Axios' Carly Mallenbaum reports.

State of stop: Peak congestion is expected Thursday at 8:15am on I-4 East between the two cities, INRIX found.

  • The estimated travel time of one hour and 54 minutes is a 36% increase compared to typical traffic on the route.
  • The return route via I-4 West on Friday at 5pm is two hours, a 23.5% increase.

Be smart: The best times to drive over Labor Day weekend are early morning or in the evening, Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, told Axios.

Overall, the times with the least traffic this holiday weekend nationally are:

  • Thursday before 7am.
  • Friday before 11am.
  • Saturday after 6pm.
  • Sunday anytime (minimal traffic is expected overall).
  • Monday after 7pm.

What they're saying: "If you must travel during heavy traffic, navigation apps and local departments of transportation can help steer drivers around long delays," Pishue said.

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