Pre-pandemic, 86% of workers spent, on average, 52 minutes every weekday in these cars commuting to-and-from their jobs.
On their way to work, many of these drivers would contribute to the Augusta area's $9.3 billion retail economy by visiting the convenience stores, coffeehouses, auto repair centers, gas stations, daycares, grocery stores, or hundreds of other businesses they passed.
At lunchtime, these same cars would take their owners to restaurants, dentist appointments, nail appointments, barbershops, and on an infinite number of other errands.
On the weekends, these vehicles filled the parking lots of hardware stores, furniture stores, car dealers, appliance stores, bowling alleys, movie theatres, and nightclubs,
Then in early April when the Governors of Georgia and South Carolina shut down their states to slow the spread of COVID-19, traffic came to a standstill and so did the spending.
There are strong indications, though, that in the CSRA, roads are filling up again.