One of my friends pointed out one of the really unique things about San Francisco was that *everyone* takes public transportation: business people, moms, kids, retirees, college students, and even “hooligans”.
While I enjoy as much as anyone else the relaxation private vehicles often afford, I think there’s something about this that really keeps people in touch (even if only subconsciously) of the rest of the city and the people around them.
New York is kind of an extreme example of both public and private transportation. In the public spaces you end up with really creative street performers. But in the private space you end up with horrible congestion and poor quality.
Uber and similar folks might be covering the quality aspect of services like this. But I can’t help but feel there’s a certain aspect of our culture that we’d be sacrificing with the proliferation of services like this.