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Gas prices rise, as do savings for transit riders

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Gasoline prices are spiking and with them the savings for U.S. commuters who rely on public transportation, a transit group said on Friday.

U.S. gas prices have increased 28 cents a gallon in the last 10 days to $3.47 per gallon. Individuals who travel by bus or commuter rail instead of filling up their tanks at that price would save $825 per month on average, the American Public Transportation Association said.

The group included the national average of $161.56 for an unreserved parking space in a downtown business district in its calculations.

Political uncertainty in oil-producing Libya is pushing up oil prices, and that in turn is forcing many Americans to pay more at the pump.

If prices remain high, individuals would save an average $9,904 each year, APTA said, adding that "this is the highest savings for public transit riders in two years."

APTA said a commuter who relies on public transportation in New York City has the most savings over a driver -- $14,376 a year -- followed by those in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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