The Next Public Bus Is a Coffee Bar on Wheels
Transportation startup Leap has launched a high-end public bus service in San Francisco that has everything on board to support today's tech-savvy working class.
“Your daily commute. Redesigned” claims Leap on its website. Equipped with on-board desks, couches, Wi-Fi and USB outlets, as well as organic snacks and cold-pressed juices, their luxury public buses look like coffee bars — on wheels. The vehicles claim to reduce congestion and air pollution since they are fueled by clean natural gas. Quite a few interesting assets for commuters to reconsider the bus as a serious transport option.
The first high-end bus service stretches from San Francisco’s Marina district to the city center, and is operated on weekdays during peak commuter hours. Unlike ‘normal’ public transportion services the buses don’t follow a time table. Instead, they arrive every 10-15 minutes. The Leap app enables passengers to see where their bus is and how many seats are left, as well as to check in on board through Bluetooth. Despite traveling in the lap of luxury, the price for one ride is still a pretty steep $6, but you’ll get a discount when you buy tickets in bulk.
Especially in the United States, public transport generally has a bad image. Leap manages to successfully challenges the idea most people have of a public bus. It turns the public bus concept inside out and takes it to a new level. We’re curious to see how this idea will develop, and if it’s able to unleash innovation in the public transport sector in general.