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Rundown for the Week of September 7, 2001

Listen to the Whole Show

The Commuter Race
Join six competitors from around the country as we watch them crush through their daily commutes to work. Who will win? More importantly, who will get our Artistic Merit award?

Traffic Copter Tony by Tony Kahn
Los Angeles - If cars are the cornerstone of American life, Los Angeles is the king of the car universe. Once again, L.A. is the dubious winner of the U.S. city with the heaviest traffic. We sent our inquisitive Traveler at Large, Tony Kahn, up in a news chopper, to brave the skies above LA's madding rush hour. Tony, per usual, stretched his mission. He wanted to apply chaos theory to the morning commute. Instead he got an up-close experience on how those chopper reporters hunt down their information. And in just a couple of hours, Tony saw plenty of action.

Interview: Car Sharing
Cars are built to carry at least two people, usually four or more. But that's a moot point, when you consider the fact that urban autos average about 1.3 people per vehicle. We all seem to want to drive alone. A few progressive thinkers have tried rebate plans for mass transit commuters. They've also tried pedestrian/bicycle areas in urban centers. But one very successful European system of sharing cars is now growing in the U.S. We'll talk to a car sharing company CEO, and to a woman who uses - and loves - the car sharing system.

School Carpool by Pippin Ross
Amherst, MA - Sharing cars may be a new concept for individual drivers, but parents have been carpooling their kids for decades. Thousands of kids hop in their parents' and their parents' friends cars to get dropped off and picked up at school, soccer and guitar practice. Reporter, and mother, Pippin Ross inspired herself to dig down for a positive attitude about a trip she used to dread-her turn at the carpool wheel.

End of the Road by Nancy Updike
Los Angeles - ." The car is the ultimate American icon of freedom. We escape to privacy and reverie behind the wheel. We eat what we want in the driver's seat. It's the place where you can belt out Freedom's Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose with the wind whipping your hair into frenzy. Reporter Nancy Updike found out that, given how beloved our cars are to us, losing the driving privilege can push a person to totally redefine a life.

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