Modern Bus Service Leap Dead Already?

The concept behind San Francisco startup bus company Leap was a good one: provide a modern, business class express bus service for Silicon Valley workers who wanted more than just a ride. Two slip-ups seem to have done for the company though: failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and failure to procure an operator's licenses which resulted in the arrival of a cease and desist order from the Public Utilities Commissioner.

According to Ars, Leap's vehicles are being auctioned off by a liquidator which suggests that the company won't be with us much longer.

That's a shame, although a failure to understand the basic requirements of operating a bus service is a bit of a schoolboy error. Maybe those behind the service were hoping to do an Uber-style run around the regulator and hope to win in the court of public opinion.

It would be interesting to see how such a service would go down somewhere less restricted by regulation. The UK, for example, where bus services have been deregulated for thirty years. Mass transit is generally better in the UK than the US (although not as good as most other European countries) but it seems to me that a high quality bus service offering the technical and service enhancements that Leap envisioned could certainly be viable along certain routes between big UK cities and their feeder towns.


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