guardian.co.uk — Americans have since the second world war built an entire way of life around the automobile. It turns out, however, that our faith was an unsteady one and, in the face of high gas prices and young people's increasing preference for urban living, we are heading back to subways, trains, buses and trolleys in droves. In the first quarter of this year, we took an additional 125.7m trips on mass transit compared with the same time period last year – an increase of 5%. Yet, Republican-led austerity is pushing public transit, like most everything public, into severe fiscal and physical crisis. All at the very moment when we want and need it the most. Nationwide, 80% of mass transit systems either did move to boost fares and cut services or considered doing so in 2010, according to the most recent report from the American Public Transportation Association.
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