Before having a car, usually I was in these TWO situations:
Actually that is all, especially from Palo Alto. (In SF, there were additional means and less pressure for transit.)
There was a time pressure. I had to leave otherwise, I wouldn’t catch the train. Or that I was making someone wait for me unexpectedly.
With car, I could…magically leave whenever I wanted. Which in some ways is a dangerous thing. But at least after work, I have no obligation to leave except to myself.
Just like when I used to work in the city, the potential after work is boundless. Nothing constrains me…because suddenly the world is much more open to me.