• Brian A.Brian A., over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    Warning: Grumpiness ahead.

    This is cool and all, but do we really need another service catering to this demographic? I get that this sort of thing is hot right now, but I’m still disappointed; I wish I was reading about a company bringing some innovation to MUNI instead of cashing in on the area’s urban upper-middle-class.

    Some of the stuff they’re doing would do wonders for the public transportation sector. Off the top of my head:

    • Good GPS tracking would help customers plan their schedules more efficiently provide transit authorities with valuable data that can be used to create more efficient schedules and services.
    • Bluetooth check-ins would help alleviate some of the headaches and time-consuming parts of the boarding process. Those with BT-enabled devices could simply walk onto the bus or train and take their seat, while others could use normal passes or cash.
    • Knowing seat availability might help people plan their schedules more efficiently. Maybe the bus you usually take is crowded; the one 15 minutes later typically has more open seats, so you decide to take that one and have a more relaxed commute.
    • We won’t be seeing vending machines on buses any time soon, but contracting with grocers placing vending machines stocked with WIC-approved items at a few stops might help lower-income individuals get food on the go.

    tl;dr: Neat service. Keeping my fingers crossed that this eventually helps disrupt public transit and doesn't stop at providing Bay Area yuppies with another taxi service. I’d probably give it a shot if I was in SF.

    40 points
    • Will Hitchcock, over 8 years ago

      This definitely comes to mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoK4_dQbfuU

      6 points
    • Braden HammBraden Hamm, over 8 years ago

      This is what I came here to say. When I watched the commercial, it just didn't feel good. I kept picturing the peoples faces when a homeless person hops on the Leap.

      3 points
    • Hans van de BruggenHans van de Bruggen, over 8 years ago

      Uber started out with black cabs only at a $30 minimum per ride. Tesla priced its first car at over $100K. Apple's Mac was priced at $2500 (costing over twice that after inflation).

      These are all mass market companies who got their start by charging higher prices from people who could afford it. Leap is no different.

      1 point
    • Joe Blau, over 8 years ago

      My first thought was that I had never seen a MUNI bus that was so clean until I rode one from Downtown/FiDi to the Marina. A friend and I were talking about how this would be a great service to compete with CalTrain if they were able to shuttle people up and down the peninsula.

      0 points
  • Hawke BassignaniHawke Bassignani, over 8 years ago

    “Then the two 20-something industrialists rode off into the sunset aboard their gleaming palanquin of tech privilege.”

    “And they lived happily ever after. The end.”

    6 points
  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 8 years ago

    So confused by this. From their Terms of Service:

    LEAP OFFERS INFORMATION AND A METHOD TO OBTAIN THIRD PARTY TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, BUT DOES NOT AND DOES NOT INTEND TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES OR ACT IN ANY WAY AS A TRANSPORTATION CARRIER Leap provides a means to enable persons who seek transportation to certain destinations to find, use and pay for private buses to get to those destinations.

    It seems like the buses are fake? It's just an app and qr reader.

    6 points
    • Chris ColemanChris Coleman, over 8 years ago

      But… they sell snacks?

      It sounds like maybe the buses are owned by independent operators and they just operate as a franchise.

      I wouldn't think too hard about it though, because this is going to be short-lived.

      12 points
    • Brian A.Brian A., over 8 years ago

      It's basically Uber, except with buses.


      Sound familiar?

      6 points
    • George ChenGeorge Chen, over 8 years ago

      A real bus.


      0 points
  • Dmitrij PaskevicDmitrij Paskevic, over 8 years ago

    This is some borderline hipster thing..

    3 points
  • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, over 8 years ago

    How long is this journey? Done some calculations and it's either 30 minutes on a bike or 20 minutes by car (obviously be a bit longer by bus, say a conservative 40 minutes). Correct me if I'm wrong but that ain't much of a commute.

    I live in the UK and have never been to SF so I can't pass too much judgement but I really dont get it.

    2 points
  • Spencer HoltawaySpencer Holtaway, over 8 years ago

    I need to go down to the Marina one morning and see if the buses are actually that full. If they are, MUNI just needs to up their rates to $3 a ride (if people are willing to pay SIX DOLLARS for this service?)

    2 points
    • Simon O’SheaSimon O’Shea, over 8 years ago

      Yeah, also people could agree to pay higher taxes to have a better public transport system. But then the county/city/government would have to spend those taxes appropriately. Good luck with all that.

      1 point
  • Sam SolomonSam Solomon, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    It would be interesting to see an Uber-like bus where the route is defined by people requesting pickups and dropoffs via their phones as opposed to a predefined schedule.

    Additionally, the general perception of buses is pretty dreary—only undesierables use them. However, when the buses appearance is modernized, their appeal goes way up. http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/02/the-myth-that-everyone-naturally-prefers-trains-to-buses/385759/

    Perhaps this is where both of those worlds meet?

    2 points
  • Thomas RawcliffeThomas Rawcliffe, over 8 years ago

    Only in California!

    This would never work in London.

    1 point
    • Sjors TimmerSjors Timmer, over 8 years ago

      Out of curiosity, why do you think this would never work in London?

      1 point
      • Josh ClementJosh Clement, over 8 years ago

        London puts a lot of money into its public transport system and from my own experience it works pretty damn well. Lots of buses, they run all night etc

        2 points
      • Christine RødeChristine Røde, over 8 years ago

        The way I see it, the bus system in London is actually reasonably clean, pleasant-smelling, frequent and on-time, as-is. It's also such a large and spread-out city that designing routes that serve a big enough chunk of the demographic sounds incredibly difficult, even with the destination being the same. (City/Canary Wharf workers?)

        The biggest reason why this has potential in SF isn't because it's a bus with coffee/snacks, but because Muni is completely disregarded as even being a transportation option by many upper-middle-class San Franciscans. I don't really see the same thing here in London.

        2 points
      • Thomas RawcliffeThomas Rawcliffe, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

        Maybe not never, just not as well.

        The public transport system in London has huge investment. Every single penny they make goes back into the system, so no one really has a problem with the busses and routes we already have. Meaning there's not much of a problem to be solved.

        The new route masters are pretty damn swanky...

        Plus us English are quite reserved, I woldn't personally want to be seen on a cafe bus thing.

        0 points
  • Luis La TorreLuis La Torre, over 8 years ago

    I have no idea what this those. Can someone simplify this with colloquial copy?

    0 points
  • Henrique Alves, over 8 years ago

    Meanwhile in Africa...

    Africa bus

    0 points
  • Truong NguyenTruong Nguyen, over 8 years ago

    If this is trying to solve the bad public transportation in SF, money and resource well wasted. We don't fix bad water in the fishing tank by putting in more expansive fish with the hope they'll purify the water.

    0 points
  • Account deleted over 8 years ago

    Um, it's been a few years since I've lived in SF, but isn't that pretty much the 41/45 bus route?

    0 points