If you are referring to Hartford, Conn., yes you will need a car. There are public buses but it does not go everywhere and it does not run 24/7. If you can't bring a car with you, try visiting some car dealerships and ask if you can lease a car for 9 months instead of their standard 1 - 3 year lease. This will be much cheaper than going thru a car rental company. In New York City, public transportation is excellent but outside of the NYC region, it's not - you need a car.