In the latest report [on savings of transit vs car ownership], APTA comes up with a blended average of $9,238 per year, with a high of $15,873 per year in New York City (which also happens to be where the most people use public transit … by far). The estimated savings are based on many assumptions, of course, such as the price of gas and car maintenance, insurance, depreciation and finance charges, the price of parking, and the price of transit in the region. […] I dropped the car approximately 11 years ago. I haven’t lived in the cities APTA evaluates, and I haven’t closely tracked how much I would have spent if I had owned a car. But if we used an average of $9,500 a year, that would come to a savings of $104,500 [which is more than we paid for our condo].
We haven’t been in the exact same situation as the author, but our experience has definitely been that limiting our car usage and ownership has saved a huge amount of money. At least in the United States, there’s a huge amount of social pressure (in many forms) to own at least one car, but looking back I am very happy that we sold our second car when we did.