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Congress recently invited Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institute to testify about transit's role in reducing the country's dependence on foreign oil. His testimony is available on-line and is chock full of research and recommendations to increase the scale, scope, and availability of the nation's transit systems.
Puentes notes that Portland, along with New York and Chicago, have some of the nation's lowest vehicle miles traveled and carbon dioxide emissions per capita - a fact he attributes to transit's widespread availability and other key land use factors.
He also included this graph, highlighting portion of household income spent on housing, transportation, and other expenses by neighborhood type:
What do you think about your neighborhood? Is it transit rich, auto dependent, or somewhere in between? How could Congress help your area of town reduce its energy consumption?