To begin with, living car-free saves us about $400/month. Second, there are no car repairs, no maintenence, and nothing to break down or shovel out of the snow. Third, Mr. O'Kitten hates to drive and doesn't even like riding in the car--he really is a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker in this regard. I myself prefer not to drive, given the choice, and am delighted to take bus or subway or walk instead.
And think about this: "The MTA is one of the nation's most effective sustainability programs, transporting [our] riders on more than 8.5 million trips daily with twice the energy efficiency of the most advanced hybrid cars.
"Thanks in large part to the MTA, the energy consumption and CO2 output of New Yorkers is approximately a quarter of the national average. If the rest of the country matched New York City's carbon footprint, the nation could achieve the goal of cutting carbon 80 percent by 2050, more than 40 years ahead of schedule."
Even better is not needing any public transportation at all. I walk to work about 90% of the time, unless it's really pouring or I'm coming home late in the evening, in which case I take the bus. Rain or shine, even if it's cold or snowing, I love to walk. Within a block of our apartment there's a grocery, barbershop, butchershop, laundrymat, bank, discount store, nail salon, pizzeria, hardware store, and pharmacy, and most any place (including the grocery and pharmacy) will deliver. Perhaps that explains why so many elderly people still live in our neighborhood: everything is within reach and if you can't get to it, they'll bring it to you.
Gotta love New York.