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With gas nearing $4 a gallon, Americans parked their cars and hitched 10.4 billion rides on public transit last year, the second-highest year for public transportation since 1957.
“We know that transportation is the No. 2 household expense, after housing,” said Robert Puentes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “It’s more than education and health care, even though those get talked about much more, so it doesn’t take much for households to change their travel habits to the extent that they can.”