We have a system where public transportation is sparse and slow to encourage people to buy and drive cars, especially on the outskirts of the cities.
When I lived in Leningrad I lived on the outskirts of the city as well. There were the following means of transport that could get you virtually anywhere in the city:
Trolleybuses (Those are buses that had electrical motors and fed off of electrical wires above them
Tramways (These were on the rails in the middle of the street with electrical motors as well that fed off of electrical wires above them)
All these ran like every 10-15 minutes. Pick and choose. It was literally foolish to drive your own car there.
Don't get fooled. The need to drive a car everyday is another form of control in a capitalist system. Public transportation can be very convinient if the government takes the right steps.