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Travel industry in Kingston bustling as people head home for the holidays

Click to play video: 'People head home for the holidays kicking off a busy travel season'
People head home for the holidays kicking off a busy travel season
Planes, trains and automobiles just some of the modes of transportation as people start traveling over the holiday season – Dec 21, 2017

Over 130,000 people are expected to make their way through Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Thursday.

Experts are calling this one of the busiest travel days of the year, as people rush to get home for the holidays.

The number of bodies on the move may not be as high in Kingston as metropolitan areas like Toronto, but there will still be a fair number of travellers in the area.

Hundreds of Queen’s University students are making their way into the VIA rail station over the course of the day.

Queen’s student Micheal Irvine is looking forward to the break.

“[I’m] going to see family, play some shinny on the outdoor rink and take advantage of not being at school,” Irvine said.
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Ted Munn, another Queen’s student, is starting his holiday break by heading to Toronto to join his family.

“[We’re] hopefully going to go skiing over the break a little bit,” he said. “[I’m] going to go right into Union Station and take the subway home.”

The pick up in travelling this time of year is a lucrative business for taxi drivers.

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John Merry says business started picking up several days ago.

“[We’re doing a lot of runs] right from Queen’s to the VIA (Station) and back again students are ready to go.”
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That echoes Lise Coghlan’s experience. The Merit Travel manager says the travel window for this time of year greater than just one day.

“It is the busiest travel season. We have about a three-week window which started last weekend.”

But not everyone is heading home for the holidays.

Coghlan says many people use the winter break to travel abroad.

“[Places like] Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican always seem to be very affordable for people, cruises — a lot of cruises,” Coghlan said.

The personal vehicle is just about the most common mode of transportation this time of year.

Something police are very aware of. Frontenac OP. Const. Roop Sandhu says with increased traffic they will be stepping up enforcement over the holiday season.

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“We are out there and you will be ticketed for any type of aggressive driving or speeding infractions or distracted driving,” Sandhu said.

Sandhu suggests a few simple steps to make sure you arrive safely like topping up vehicle fluids, checking wiper blades and tires and adjusting your speed to the weather conditions.

“Just take [your] time, drive carefully, leave that space between the vehicles.”

Both provincial and Kingston police will also be running the Ride program into the new year as well.

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