Get out of that bus, train, light rail or subway and drive your car to work! Crowd the roads! Burn the most gasoline possible! Pollute the air!

That’s the unmistakable message Congress has sent the nation’s commuters with its recent choice not to maintain a tax parity between those who elect to take public transit to work and those who drive their own vehicles.

As of Jan. 1, U.S. taxpayers who drive to work are eligible for a tax deduction of up to $240 a month for parking costs. That’s $10 more than they are eligible to deduct this year and represents an adjustment for inflation.

Meanwhile, those who ride a form of mass transit are left standing on the proverbial platform. Instead of the $230 tax deduction they’ve been able to take for the past two years to help offset commuting costs, they’ll be knocked down to $125, or about half what their car-driving counterparts receive.

Transit advocates saw the disparity coming and had hoped Congress would address it in the extension of the payroll tax break last month, but alas, it didn’t. Instead, the nation now has a de facto national policy that promotes greater consumption of energy, increased congestion and harmful emissions and more dependence on foreign oil.

This stupidity can’t be left to stand. When Congress returns to Washington this month (by car no doubt) one of the first orders of business ought to be to correct the disparity. If anything, transit ridership ought to be given an advantage over driving — at least the kind that doesn’t involve a car pool.

Despite what anyone in Congress might think, the nation’s transit ridership is up about 2 percent nationwide from one year ago, according to the most recent survey. Even Amtrak, that favorite Washington whipping boy, has set ridership records despite a budgetary squeeze.

But that could change once commuters realize that Uncle Sam wants them to drive. The anti-transit message coming out of the nation’s capital is loud and clear.