Urban Transport

Leap luxury buses start rolling in San Francisco

Leap luxury buses start rollin...
Inside the big blue city bus, commuters are offered a choice of three seating areas
Inside the big blue city bus, commuters are offered a choice of three seating areas
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There's a booth at the wood-paneled rear geared towards social interaction
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There's a booth at the wood-paneled rear geared towards social interaction
If you get the munchies on the way to or from work, each bus includes a snack bar
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If you get the munchies on the way to or from work, each bus includes a snack bar
Inside the big blue city bus, commuters are offered a choice of three seating areas
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Inside the big blue city bus, commuters are offered a choice of three seating areas
Passengers can find the nearest stop and track each bus in real time using an iOS/Android companion app
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Passengers can find the nearest stop and track each bus in real time using an iOS/Android companion app
According to Leap, there should be a bus every 10-15 minutes during peak commuting hours
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According to Leap, there should be a bus every 10-15 minutes during peak commuting hours
View gallery - 5 images

This past week, natural gas-fueled buses from private transport company Leap started making their way through San Francisco along the company's first route, dubbed the Lombard Express. Rather than squeeze as many people as possible into a mobile sweat box, the high-end Leap buses are decked out like a swanky coffee shop and include a number of technologies to support today's gadget obsessed commuter.

Leap says that its buses are specifically aimed at making the commute from home to office a stress-free and comfortable one. Its first route stretches from the Marina district to downtown San Francisco, with four stops along the Lombard Street corridor and four more between Clay Street and Howard Street.

The service doesn't follow a strict timetable, passengers can find the nearest stop and track each bus in real time using an iOS/Android companion app. Information on the number of available seats at any given time is also provided. According to Leap, there should be a bus every 10-15 minutes during peak commuting hours.

A one-way ride on a Leap bus costs a not insubstantial US$6, though there are bulk discounts available. To keep things moving smoothly, passengers won't be causing delay at the front by fumbling for loose change, they can either pre-print a paper ticket, scan a code into the system from a smartphone or use a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device to pay automatically.

Passengers can find the nearest stop and track each bus in real time using an iOS/Android companion app
Passengers can find the nearest stop and track each bus in real time using an iOS/Android companion app

Inside the big blue city bus, commuters are offered a choice of three seating areas – a booth at the wood-paneled rear geared towards social interaction, a section featuring laptop workspaces for checking social network feeds or putting the finishing touches to a presentation on the way to the office, and front-facing seats designed for spacious comfort.

There are USB ports for powering mobile devices and onboard Wi-Fi. If you get the munchies on the way to or from work, each bus also includes a snack bar. In addition to the driver, a company representative will be on board each bus to see to commuter needs.

You can see the kind of experience on offer in the short promo video below.

Source: Leap

Leap - Your daily commute. Redesigned.

View gallery - 5 images
6 comments
cattleherder
That's a great idea! Similar to Japan's first class subway carriages.
If many people prefer cars for the comfort, making it more luxurious will help to reduce congestion.
Gadgeteer
$10 a day for an estimated 200 work days a year is still only $2000, much cheaper than buying a car and paying insurance, maintenance, gas, parking, etc. Reports say that can total $9000 a year. You can rent a car on those occasions when you really need one for much less than the $7000 difference. Not to mention the increased productivity from not having to stare at the road during your commute.
Keith Reeder
Brilliant - as long as it departs from, and goes to, somewhere useful to you...
Germano Pecoraro
Excellent initiative! The managers must realize that public transport buses and trains are not cattle cars minimalist. The idea to diversify the interior design of the cars makes the real difference. The passenger should be given the chance to choose the seat suited to their business needs, study, resting, social, etc. Must be less seats, more comfort. The problem of the number of seats can be partially solved by with two floors buildings, in tunnels, and other solutions yet. Around these vehicles must be equipped with slots for bicycles. I have some doubts about social area, because people on trains and buses is hesitant to making friends.
hdm
tiered transit. who knew?
Bob Flint
For $6 I would pay just to get any seat, most mass transit standing room only and it's almost $3 here one way trip. Does it have a washroom? What happens if full and you have to stand, or will it Leap past your stop?