Afternoon traffic in Houston reaching pre-pandemic levels, analysts says

Thursday, August 6, 2020
Afternoon traffic volumes reach close to pre-pandemic levels
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Katherine Whaley explains what's changing in Houston's freeway traffic patterns.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Eyewitness News has been tracking changes in traffic patterns since the beginning of the pandemic, and the latest numbers from Transtar are showing traffic is much lighter than normal.

Although traffic is much lighter, Transtar says the afternoon commute is seeing an uptick.

A study shows the number of cars traveling on the Katy Freeway near Voss during a 24-hour period is down 19.2% compared to last year.

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But if we measure the peak morning numbers vs. the peak evening numbers, there's a growing difference.

Morning volumes from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. are still down about 28.3%, but evening numbers from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the same location are down just 4.1%.

Analysts at Transtar said the numbers reflect the types of trips that are being taken. Morning travel is mostly job-related, but with so many people working from home, the early commute remains light. Now for the evening commute, analysts say more people are driving during the day for retail and service-related business.

SEE MORE: Traffic speeds still above average despite Texas reopening

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