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'Almost Back To Normal': Traffic Volume Has Increased Dramatically In Boston Area

BOSTON (CBS) - If you've been on the roads lately, you've likely noticed traffic has made its return to the Boston area.

As many people stayed home from work and school during the Spring of 2020, traffic volume decreased by roughly 60% according to MassDOT.

Now the latest data shows traffic volume has increased dramatically compared to last year. Ben Chen of traffic analytics company MS2 says volume has increased more than 100% compared to the height of the pandemic last spring. "120% is more accurate," says Chen.

Drivers like David Bruno have noticed. His commute from Dedham to Saugus was down to about 30 minutes last year. "It was nice to have that break, if you want to call a pandemic a break," he said.

Now he says, you're lucky to do the trip in an hour and a half. "Almost back to normal, not quite there," Bruno said.

Overall volume is still down slightly from 2019, but Chen says we may never get back to the same volume levels because more people are working remotely.

As odd as it may seem, some drivers are happy to see more cars on the road. Alex Owre says, "I think that means every time you see someone in the car, they're going to see another human being, which is something we haven't been doing so much of."

While overall traffic volume is still down from 2019, truck volume has actually increased according to Chen. He says consumers kept buying and buying throughout the pandemic so more goods needed to be shipped, resulting in a 5% to 15% increase in truck traffic volume compared to 2019.

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