Americans hitting roads for busy Thanksgiving holiday

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04: Cars are viewed along a highway in Brooklyn New York at the start of the busy Labor Day weekend on September 4, 2015 in New York. With gas prices at recent lows, AAA predicts this will be the heaviest Labor Day travel period since 2008. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — Americans are hitting the roads for what’s expected to be the busiest Thanksgiving travel day in almost a decade, spurred by low gas prices and an improving economy. Here are some of the numbers:

— 48.7 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home between Wednesday and Sunday. That is an increase of 1 million over last year, and the most since 2007, AAA spokeswoman Julie Hall said.

— More than 89 percent of holiday travelers will drive. As of Wednesday, the average price nationally for a gallon of gas was $2.13. That’s the second-lowest price since 2008, when the average was $1.85.

— Almost 3.7 million people were expected to fly over the holiday, an increase of 1.6 percent from 2015.

— Amtrak expects more than 750,000 passengers will travel by train over the holiday, surpassing last year. Sunday is the busiest day as people return home in time for work and school, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said.