I also don't necessarily agree that my commute would be so much quicker by private car. In fact as I have explained to my girlfriend (when she wants to know why I don't use our second car to go to work), I don't agree at all.
First of all, in the morning I usually get coffee and a paper on the way to work. The place I stop at is at the bus stop so I only need to allow a few extra minutes.
In the evening I combine errands with my bus trip and they're very easily accomplished as the stores I shop in are all located either at the intersection where I transfer to the 13 or where I get off the 13 in my neighborhood. The Post Office, CVS, a delicatessen, a diner for coffee to go (to take home), the variety store where I play Lotto.
If I drive, forget it. First of all, some of the places I could not go to. At the morning coffee spot there is no parking available at all. The Post Office in Elmsford is very convenient to dash across to from my bus stop. As is the variety store. To drive to them...first, there's usually no parking. Except for the tiny Post Office lot which is usually blocked by cars waiting at the light.
These errands consume extra time when you're driving, when you have to say make a left into a parking lot on a street with heavy opposing rush hour traffic. When you maybe have to go around the block a couple times before you can find a parking space.
Realistically I would have to find new places, car-friendly places. Those places are usually not as nice to use. Bus riders usually chat a moment with the person behind the counter in the stores they regularly stop at. The storekeepers get to know you and you get to know them.
Privare car drivers don't usually chat. They're always in a hurry to pay and get back in their car.
I don't have to fight traffic. In the evening when I'm on the bus I have the time to relax and read the rest of the newspaper I didn't have time for at lunch. Read a magazine article. Plug in my Walkman and unwind.
By the time I get off the bus I'm relaxed. I wouldn't trade that time for anything.
But the bottom line is, I'm going to sacrifice a lot of serenity in exchange for what would probably be ten minutes in the morning and five minutes at night.
Once I leave work I don't have to be back for fifteen hours. An extra fifteen minutes is not a big deal. It's not.
Plus I save mucho $$$, support mass transit and help the planet.
I don't see the problem!