My brother was in town last weekend, so I ended up putting a lot of miles on the car. He's visually impaired, but oddly enough, that wasn't the reason we ended up spending a lot of time in the car. He's perfectly able to travel to/from work daily, using public transportation (he lives in DC). He was also able to make it all the way out to Seattle using a combination of buses, trains, and planes.
I drove to and from the airport because our light-rail link isn't up and running yet. I drove to and from the coast because there isn't any other way to get out there. I use public transportation sporadically, mainly because I normally ride my bike. Another reason is the nearest bus stop is a mile from my house.
My brother is literally at the mercy of our investments (or lack thereof) in public transportation. He's the canary in the coal mine of what will happen to the rest of us once the private automobile goes the way of the dodo.