I think that's a weird excuse to not attend church, if you live less than an hour away.
Perhaps it's more of a time issue? Purple demons coming in and eating up large chunks of our schedules? (It feels like that is what's happening to me!)
My husband and I are pretty much below the poverty line based on our combined incomes, so we don't go drive everywhere. This means that other than taking the train into the city for a lunch meeting, I haven't been out of the immediate area since we got married. People sacrifice! However, it's understood that we will have to find a way to drive out for a few things: work, church and grocery shopping. And even though we are still up to our eyeballs in debt, we still find ways to afford everything, shocker!*
While there might be people who are genuinely having this issue, I personally think that it's just an excuse. If not, the habit to not cut their spending in other areas is indicative of a larger problem, and difficult to address.
If people need it, carpools are a great idea. One thing that I loved about Protestants is that they had the church buses, and would pick me up at my college every Sunday. Now that's what I call service!
*I don't mean to joke about poverty this way. I have just been continually surprised about how low our incomes are and how we are getting by. People are shocked when they hear how much we are making. It requires tough discipline to live inside one's means. Now, I know that there is illness, children and other issues that can make it significantly harder. But I've also met people who have this strange inability to whine about their poverty while going to Starbucks every day!