I used to hitch a lot back in my early 70's student days and remember the trials and tribulations of being stuck at the side of the road for hour after hour with a degree of ambivalence. I think the speaker may have been somewhat more successful at it than either I or most of my friends at the time were.
Getting a lift as a female seemed to be almost as easy as catching a bus whereas most of us were just left behind for the oddballs to pick up. And boy did I get some lifts from oddballs. My brother decided he was going to hitchhike to Spain and got a lucky lift down to Dover. Once in France he then went four days without a single lift and came back on the train. By contrast, on a bike trip through Greece we met, by chance, two girls I knew (they were on the same course as me but the year below). They were hitching. When I saw them back at Uni a month or so later they'd hitched back from Greece faster than we'd ridden the bikes back.
For many years I used to try and give hitchers a lift both by car and, occasionally, by bike but bit by bit there are fewer people around with their thumb out. Even the trade plate delivery hitchers seem to have disappeared.
I'm not sure the speaker's rose tinted reminiscences will make much difference. Unless some shift in our national fortunes puts lots of people on the road without a means of transport we're not going to see a revival in hitching. I for one don't mourn its passing.