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John Townsend
Public Relations Manager, DC
O: (202) 481-6820 (ext. 4462108)
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The Week

Though their numbers are uncertain, and the travel volume is unknown, those Americans and Washington area residents opting to hit the open roads for road trips this Memorial Day holiday weekend will find historically low retail gasoline prices along their routes. Pump prices have increased across the country as gasoline demand has trickled higher, more states reopen businesses and crude oil prices have increased. Despite the increases, the last time the national average was less than $2 a gallon heading into a Memorial Day Weekend was in 2003. 


Parts of Maryland and Virginia have phased reopening plans. The nation’s capital and most of the Washington metro area are on a different timeline for reopening. Surveys conducted ahead of Memorial Day reveal Americans are still worried about the Coronavirus pandemic, although all 50 states “have started to partially reopen businesses.” In light of these concerns, those Americans who plan on embarking on road trips this summer, say they will travel with their personal safety, and the safety of their family and loved ones, as a top of the mind issue.


For example, 50 percent of respondents to one such survey say their future road trip plan include “traveling with spare masks and gloves.” Even so, 40% say that plan on “only stopping at pre-planned places where they know it is clean/safe.” And 37% say they are “bringing different supplies” on their road trips. As they hit the open road for the three-day weekend, retail gasoline prices are extending their upward trend. Nevertheless, they will see the cheapest pump prices in two decades for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.


As a sign of the times, today’s gas price average in the District of Columbia is $2.17, the same as last week and down 75 cents from last year on this date. Prices in the Washington, D.C. metro area are $2 today, up four cents from last week and down 76 cents from last year. Today is the first day the metro area average has increased to $2 since April 18.


Today’s national gas price average is $1.94, up eight cents in the last week, up 14 cents in the last month and down 90 cents from this time last year.



Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)






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D.C. Metro








Crude Oil



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At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $33.25 per barrel, $3.82 higher than last Friday’s close. Domestic crude saw six consecutive days of price increases this week, amid growing market optimism that oil demand may be rebounding as states reopen and more people are driving. Additionally, crude prices have increased as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries continues to implement its 9.7 million barrels per day production reduction agreement for May and June 2020 with other large producers, including Russia.

The Weekend

Although gas prices in the Washington, D.C. metro area are trending higher, most local drivers are paying about 76 cents less than one year ago,” says John B. Townsend II, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Despite inexpensive gas prices, AAA anticipates this year’s Memorial Day holiday will likely set a record low for travel volume.”


The Week Ahead

Gasoline demand could see a short-lived spike this weekend if Americans choose to travel during the holiday weekend, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that Americans stay home and avoid nonessential travel. Last year, a record-setting 1,077,600 holiday travelers hailing from the Washington metro area traveled 50 miles or more for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, AAA Mid-Atlantic forecast. This year will look much different. For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast, as the accuracy of the economic data used to create the forecast has been undermined by COVID-19. With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.


AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, May 29, 2020


Follow us on Twitter: @AAADCNews

Like us on Facebook: AAA Mid-Atlantic News


Washington, D.C. Mailing Address:
1405 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly 82,000 members in the District of Columbia.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit

TEDx Wilmington Salon

Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

  • 12 live talks given by 13 speakers
  • 368 people in attendance at the live event
  • More than 7,500 viewed the event online through Livestream, viewing events, and on the AAA Associate network
  • Online viewers came from all 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world

View a slideshow from the event

This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA

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