Some 80 percent of New Yorkers already travel by public transportation, but Mayor Bloomberg has promised increased subway service, faster bus routes and yes, congestion charges to push that percentage ever higher. In a dog-bites-man article, the NY Times observes that some New Yorkers remain fiercely loyal to their cars. Despite traffic jams, honking horns and urban road rage, drivers value the freedom to come and go as they choose: "It gets me closer to the job," says George Ballina, sitting in the car with his wife in Lower Manhattan. "From the train you have to walk. … it's an hour and 15 minutes with the train and about 18 minutes with the car. Big difference." Also not surprising is that drivers prefer to avoid dealing with other people — to have their own quiet space and amenities: "I really make my car comfortable," says Warren William of his touch-screen DVD with speakers lining the doors and trunk. "Every time I step in my car, I have my system, I have my music. I like it really nice and quiet. I like the peacefulness."
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