Mass transit in New York City is the highest in the United States, and the city’s gasoline consumption is on par with the national average in the 1920s.
The city’s highest level of mass transit saved 1.8 billion gallons of oil in 2006. New York City’s transportation saves half the oil saved nationally. The city’s population density, low car use, and high use of public transportation rank it among the most energy efficient cities in the United States.
The city’s greenhouse gas emissions are 7.1 metric tons per person versus the national average of 24.5. New Yorkers are collectively responsible for 1% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, although they make up 2.7% of its population. The average New Yorker uses less than half the electricity used by a resident of San Francisco, and nearly a quarter of the electricity used by a resident of Dallas.
In recent years, the city has focused on reducing its environmental impact. Large amounts of concentrated pollution in New York led to a high incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases in the city’s residents. City officials require that only the most energy-efficient equipment be purchased for use in city offices and residences.
New York City has the cleanest air thanks to hybrid cars and the largest fleet of compressed natural gas buses in the country.
Also, as of mid-2010 the city had 3,715 hybrid taxis and other clean diesel vehicles, representing about 28% of New York City’s taxi fleet, the largest of any city in North America. The city is also a pioneer in the construction of energy-efficient green office buildings, including the Hearst Tower, among others.
The city is supplied with drinking water from the Catskill Mountains Conservation Area. As a result of the purity of this area and the natural water filtration system, New York is one of only four major cities in the United States with clean drinking water that does not require treatment by water treatment plants.
New York is the only city in the US where households without a car make up a larger percentage of households with one or more cars. About 55% of all New York City households do not own a car.