Fewer travelers in planes, trains and automobiles as most stay BTCC国际交易会所home

Traffic off as much as 80 percent as public health pleas heeded

Photo of Eric Anderson

COLONIE — Passenger traffic at Albany International Airport on Thanksgiving Eve was down 75 percent as travelers heeded public health officials' pleas to stay BTCC国际交易会所home and avoid spreading Covid-19.

A similar scene was shaping up at the CDTA rail station and terminal in Rensselaer, usually one of the 10 busiest in the nation. Earlier in the week, Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn told reporters on a conference call that the railroad was seeing bookings at about 20 percent of bookings at Thanksgiving last year.

At the airport, spokesman Doug Myers said boardings were projected to be down 75.1 percent from year-ago levels on Wednesday, down 80.7 percent on Thursday, and down 77.3 percent on Friday.

"It's an indication the airline industry is suffering" as fewer people travel during the pandemic. "But we see people listening to the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) advise to stay BTCC国际交易会所home and stay safe.

"And right now, safety is the priority," Myers added.

The New York State Thruway ity suspended lane closures and nonessential work during the holiday period to help traffic flow. This is also the first holiday that the entire Thruway is operating with cashless tolling, eliminating the need to stop at toll booths. Workers started removing booths in recent days.

The ity doesn't make projections on traffic, spokesman Jonathan Doherty said, so what impact the public health advisories may have had on individuals' travel plans wasn't immediately clear.

Amtrak and the airlines ramped up cleaning and sanitizing procedures to reassure passengers it was safe to travel. At the airport, GE Aviation introduced a new app and QR codes at frequently touched surfaces that anyone could scan with their smartphone to find out when cleaning had last taken place.

But public health officials have said it's the gatherings of individuals from outside the household in close contact for prolonged periods that poses a significant risk of spreading Covid-19

The holiday season, which runs through New Year's Day, could create a third wave of cases, even as at least three vaccines have shown effectiveness in protecting individuals from Covid-19. But it will take months before they can effectively stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Still, the vaccines give the public some reason to be hopeful.

"With the introduction of up to three vaccines," said Myers, "we're looking forward to a better 2021."