Southern Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords yesterday voted in favor of Saving Energy through Public Transportation Act of 2008, or HR 6052, which provides $1.7 billion for public transit.
That was good news to Arizona Public Interest Research Group, which has launched a new campaign to push public support for mass transit. Earlier this week, Arizona PIRG released an analysis showing that thanks to recent gas hikes, the average American household has now spent its economic stimulus checks on gasoline.
“Families are signing their rebate checks over to the big oil companies,” says Nick Theisen of Arizona PIRG.
Theisen says that since February, the average cost per household on gasoline has gone from $60 a week to $100 a week. He also notes that Americans drove fewer miles last year for the first time in almost 30 years. He says that the era of cheap gas is over and the American people need more option to driving their cars.
The PIRG report states that using public transportation saves the United States more than 11 millions gallons of gasoline per day and saves households an average of $6,251 every year, not counting the reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.
HR 6052 authorizes $1.7 billion of capital and operating funds for transit agencies to reduce rates and increase services, extend transit benefits to all federal employees and increase the federal share for clean fuel and alternative fuel transit equipment and facilities as well as parking facilities.