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Justin Fox

Cars Are Still Beating Public Transit

Is the narrative of the return of the city and the decline of the automotive lifestyle just a fantasy?
Driving, even in San Francisco.

Driving, even in San Francisco.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

One day last fall I showed up just after 6 a.m. at the Bay Area Rapid Transit station in Lafayette, California -- the town where I grew up -- to catch a train to Bloomberg’s office in San Francisco. It was packed standing-room-only for the whole 30-minute ride into the city. I remember thinking that if BART was that crowded before 7 a.m. something really remarkable must be happening. The sprawling, car-centric Bay Area I knew was being transformed, and maybe the nation with it.

OK, yeah, I can get a little delirious before I’ve eaten breakfast.