In 2012 there were 1,776,536 private vehicles registered to addresses in New York City, or roughly 0.59 automobiles per household. The U.S. averages 2.2 automobiles per household.
Car ownership in New York City varies substantially by borough; only 23% of Manhattan households owning an automobile; while 84% of households on Staten Island own at least one car. Nationally, 92% of households own at least one car, and 20% own three or more cars.
The number of commuters traveling by private car in the New York-Newark area decreased 4.8% between 2000 and 2011.
The use of City roads is dictated by a variety of agencies: NYC DOT (public streets and some bridges), Port Authority (six bridges), and the MTA (nine bridges and tunnels). The most-used bridge in New York City - and the busiest bridge in the world - is the George Washington Bridge. More than 49 million vehicles crossed the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan in 2012.
Davis, Benjamin and Phineas Baxandall, "Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America’s Biggest Cities," TexPirg Education Fund and Frontier Group, December 2013.
New York City Economic Development Corporation, "New Yorkers and Cars," October 2013.
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. “NYS Vehicle Registrations on File - 2012.” 2013.
Port Authority of NY & NJ, "George Washington Bridge: Facts and Info."
Stantec, "Appendix E: History and Projection of Traffic, Toll Revenues and Expenses and Review of Physical Conditions of the Facilities of Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority," Prepared for the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, April 2012.
United States Department of Transportation. “Table 1-11: Number of U.S. Aircraft, Vehicles, Vessels, and Other Conveyances.” 2013.