Advocates: Stimulus money goes straight to gas

How are stimulus checks being spent? On gas, says one New Jersey advocacy group.

According to a report by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, the average household has spent about $1,500 on fuel since President Bush signed the Economic Stimulus Act in February.

They say that is the same amount many families saw on their rebate checks.

NJPIRG is hoping the report will drive people away from cars and onto trains and other forms of public transportation. And they want lawmakers to make it easier on residents to do that.

"We're encouraging our decision makers to step up to the plate and make sure public transportation is something that is going to be implemented more efficiently," says Meghan Pearce, of NJPIRG.

The group made its report public Wednesday at the NJ Transit station in Metuchen - where the mayor concedes the town could do more to help residents drive less.

"We'd like to have a parking structure to help commuters and support our town,? says Mayor Thomas Vahalla. ?So if we were able to get money to get that, it would make it easier for us."

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