Traffic on major US toll roads was down by 8.7% year on year in November - a big increase on the 50% drop seen between April 2020 and April 2019.
Analysis from tolling group Conduent Transportation took in six of the 10 largest toll systems in the US, using data from electronic toll transactions using a transponder and licence plate images captured for toll-by-mail programmes.
The figures suggest that volatility in traffic volume will continue.
While there were year-on-year declines of 16.2% and 16.7% in June and July, respectively, that figure narrowed to 10% in August and just 2.4% in September - before widening to 7.1% in October and 8.7% in November.
“The recovery in toll traffic on US road systems from the steep declines in the spring shows the impact of states lifting restrictions that kept people off roads and highways and away from local businesses and workplaces,” said Scott Doering, general manager, road usage charging.
“The volume improvement is also a result of actions taken by tolling agencies to encourage motorists to get back on the road. While traffic could remain volatile due to broader pandemic trends, the recovery so far has been positive for states that often rely on toll revenue to fund transportation infrastructure improvements.”
Temporary moratoriums on toll charges, suspension of administrative and late fees, and a shift to cashless transactions have all helped boost road use, he says.