With gas prices spiking and home values crumbling, the American dream of commuting to work from the fringes of suburbia has become an American nightmare. Many are facing a hard choice: Paying for gas or paying the mortgage. How did it come to this? It's not just about America's financial crisis; it's also about big problems with our national infrastructure. Overstressed highways and too few public transportation options are wreaking havoc on people's lives and hitting the brakes on our already-stretched economy. NOW on PBS takes a close-up look at our inadequate transportation network and visits some people paying a high price -- in both dollars and quality of life -- just to get to work. Do we have the means to modernize both our infrastructure and our lifestyles?
This is the first installment in "Blueprint America," a year-long, PBS-wide series focusing on the nation's infrastructure. "Blueprint America" is an initiative of Thirteen/WNET.