I am considering getting a PhD in the US (mainly East or West coast universities), and I am debating on the importance of getting a driving license.
I did my undergraduate studies in the UK, where there was an excellent public transport system of buses, metro and trains. As such, I was able to travel to and around Europe, as well as around individual cities, without needing a driver's license at all.
However, I have heard many stories that due to the ubiquity of cars in the US, public transport systems are terrible in comparison to Europe. One of my friends (who also lacked a license) ended up paying over a hundred dollars for an airport transfer to his university, due to the lack of public transport options.
How necessary is a car in the transport of an average American PhD student? Is it cost-effective to get a driving license solely for the purposes of travelling around the US during the 5-6 years of PhD study?