The new venture-backed private transportation service Leap began offering rides in San Francisco last week in a swagy shuttle meant to feel “more like a living room than a bus.” A ride with the service, which costs $6 one-way or $5 in bulk, comes with WiFi, USB ports, a laptop bar and locally made pressed juices (for sale on board, that is).
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Services like this, though, raise some broader issues that are not particularly unique to San Francisco, nor to the tension the tech industry has created there. Public transit is ripe for disruption — that’s why investors are backing these ideas. If you were to look around any city and try to identify a problem in need of lucrative new solutions that emerging technology might provide, the dreaded commute is an obvious one. Public transit can be inefficient, unpredictable, slow, crowded, or on its worse days downright broken. Transit needs a shakeup.
Now how do we get Leap in Kansas City???