December 2, 2020

Transportation business in Maine still running on empty, months into pandemic

More than half a year since the pandemic brought U.S. travel to a grinding halt, a significant number of would-be passengers still are avoiding airline, bus and rail travel to and from Maine.

Passenger counts on air and rail connections to the state, even during the busy summer season, have remained dramatically lower than a year ago. Meanwhile, traffic on state roads has largely rebounded after cratering this spring.

That trend mirrors the national travel picture, said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. Months after the pandemic first hit American shores, U.S. consumers still feel safer traveling by car and staying fairly close to home, rather than taking longer trips that require close contact with strangers.

“People say they are extremely comfortable driving – they are comfortable driving with their own family,” Dow said. “When it comes to air traffic, the confidence level is about 30

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