First, our oil dependency and the world of higher energy prices that we can expect — with just 5% of the world’s population we use 25% of the world’s oil; 70% of that goes to transportation. The spike in gas prices in 2007 showed our vulnerability and is seen by some as the final straw that broke the back of the speculative real estate market. Gas prices increased 3-4 times what they were in 2000 and this broke many families’ budgets. Commuter buses were swamped and transit ridership continued to grow even after prices fell back. The cost to own a car according to AAA can be $7000 to $8000 per year. The family that has to own two or three cars is spending money that it could be saving for college educations or to invest in a business.