WV DOT: Thanksgiving week turnpike travel up 30 percent from 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Traffic on the West Virginia Turnpike was up nearly 30 percent during the week of Thanksgiving compared to 2020.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation announced Monday that from Nov. 23 to Nov. 28 nearly 733,000 vehicles went through turnpike toll booths.

The busiest days on the turnpike were the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday, as they are considered the busiest travel days in the country. Nearly 157,000 vehicles went through turnpike toll booths on Nov. 24, while more than 165,000 passed through on Nov. 28.

“I think we are experiencing a bounce back and more travel on the West Virginia Turnpike given more willingness from people to get out and travel during the holidays,” Jeff Miller, Executive Director of the West Virginia Parkways Authority told MetroNews.

Miller noted the traveling rates for 2021 were flat compared to 2019 numbers on the turnpike during Thanksgiving week. The 733,000 figure for the week was also slightly off from officials’ projection of between 740,000 and 750,000 for the week.

Miller said there was minimal delays or backups on the turnpike during the week. He attributed the smooth flow of traffic to the toll booth staff and the use of E-ZPass.

Increased use of the E-ZPass Single Fee Discount Plan, which gives drivers unlimited use of the Turnpike for an annual fee of $26.25, helped he said. The E-ZPass automatically flags drivers through toll booths, easing congestion and saving time for motorists.

Those with an E-ZPass have until Jan. 1, 2022 to renew their Discount Plan. To get an E-ZPass, or to renew an existing E-ZPass, visit www.wvturnpike.com. Drivers may also apply in person at the West Virginia Parkways Authority E-ZPass Customer Service Center, 3310 Piedmont Road, Charleston, West Virginia 25306, or at the Beckley Customer Service Center located at 12 Pikeview Drive, Beckley, West Virginia 25801.

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