At this point, some of what we're up against is going to be hard to change. Choices about zoning guaranteed that people would be living far from both work and shopping. The zoning laws didn't fall on us from the sky-- they were shaped by the culture. On the other hand, I haven't been hearing a lot of call to permit mixed use suburbs or smaller lots.
Also, jittneys-- there's tremendous resistance in the US to small, privately owned buses. I don't know if it's a love affair with the car, or a belief that people who charge money for that particular service are so dangerous that there's no way get enough safety by licensing them.
Last I heard, permission to run a taxi in New York city is tremendously expensive-- I don't know if it's like that in other cities.
Also, in the comments to this piece about street harassment, I noticed a few which said that being in a car equaled peace of mind because it was it meant not being harassed.