Finding a Solution to $4 Gas Woes

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Four dollar a gallon gas is everywhere, and with no drop in sight, many commuters are finding other ways to get where they need to go.

Some are carpooling.

"By far, the van is the way to go," said one supporter.

Others are catching a public ride. According to the American Public Transportation Association, transit ridership is up across the board compared to last year.

Americans took more than two billion trips on public transportation in the first three months of this year. It's up 3.4 percent.

That's at least an extra 100,000 trips not in the family car.

Other modes of transit are receiving extra riders too.

Light rail use has shot up 10 percent, and commuter rail ridership is growing at nearly 6 percent over 2007.

But some experts say that public transportation isn't ready for this extra load.

"The concern in many areas is the infrastructure really is not there," Rick Remington of Rutgers University said.

And many Americans aren't ready to give up their cars just yet.

That's why some businesses and local governments are turning to a four day work week to help their employees and to cut costs themselves.

Workers still put in their 40 hours by working 10-hour days Monday through Thursday.

The mayor of Birmingham, Ala. is onboard.

"When they hear we're going to the four day work week they're ecstatic," Mayor Larry Langford said. "They're jumping up and down saying 'thank you God.'"

He believes this is the kind of new thinking that's long overdue in our country.

"In this nation we've been stuck on stupid for so long, it's become the norm rather than the exception," he said.

The University of Central Oklahoma is also adopting the new schedule for summer faculty.

The university says the new plan will definitely pay off.

Shutting the air off on Fridays could save the university as much as $150,000 a year.

Experts say at least a quarter of all private businesses are considering the short week.

Schools in Minnesota and Alabama are considering a four-day schedule as well.

"We have huge fuel costs between the transportation and the fuel oil for our boilers in all four buildings so we had to do something," said school superintendent Greg Schmidt.

Even though the savings can really add up, not everyone thinks it's good for the economy.

Whatever solutions people eventually come up with, it's a safe bet americans will keep looking for ways to cope with higher energy prices, and won't stop until they find some that work for everybody.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

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