Gas prices saw a small rise in Central Jersey as we head into Memorial Day weekend, but they're still cheaper than a year ago. Regular is 16-cents less than it was in 2012 at this time. Here are the Central Jersey and AAA national averages for the week ending May 24:
Regular: Central Jersey: $3.34, up 2-cents; national average: $3.66, up 6-cents
Mid-grade: Central Jersey: $3.58, up 1-cent; national average: $3.83, up 6-cents
Premium: Central Jersey: $3.74, up 2-cents; national average: $3.98, up 6-cents
WCTC's survey includes the same ten gas stations each week along Route 1 and Route 27 in Edison, Franklin, New Burnswick, North Brunswick and South Brunswick. AAA nationa average can be found here.
Despite that, it might be a good idea to "pack some patience" if you're headed out on New Jersey's highways this Memorial Day weekend, particularly Friday afternoon. The New Jersey AAA says while overall travel by Garden State residents is expected to drop six-tenths of a percent to nearly 913,729, automobile travel is expected to remain the same: 828,643. But spokeswoman Cathleen Lewis says sometimes in New Jersey, the numbers under-represent who's vacationing over Memorial Day weekend.
"AAA numbers are predicated upon people traveling 50 miles or more," explains Lewis. "Well, we all know you don't have to drive 50 miles to get to the best vacation spots, which is the Jersey Shore for most folks. So even if they're not captured in this poll, a lot of people will be getting out there."
But they won't be doing it as much by plane. Air travel by New Jerseyans is expected to be down almost 7% from last Memorial Day weekend.
Meanwhile, the state's toll roads are expecting fairly stable travel numbers as well. The Turnpike Authority expects about a one-percent increase from last year to 3.6 million vehicles on the Turnpike, while the Parkway is expected to remain flat with 8.1 million vehicles traveling. Spokesman Tom Feeney says all construction will be halted this weekend to cut down on congestion.