[UPDATE: Kevin Montgomery of Uptown Almanac reacts.]
[UPDATE II: The Twitter-stream of one @kylekirchhoff just went private. C'mon, Bro! You gotta engage with the peeps. Today is your big day. It's not that incrimernating, is it? Bro discusses how much he doesn't like Twitter, McAfee Antivirus Inc, and how many people got shot on a MUNI #14 last year. You know, all the usual stuff. But I'll tell you, withdrawing from Web 2.0 is what criminales do, right? You're just a bro with a bus. Nothing wrong with that.]
[UPDATE III: Aaron Sankin of Huffington Post San Francisco weighs in.]
[UPDATE IV: And now Ellen Huet of the San Francisco Chronicle:
John Avalos, a supervisor who has fought against private companies use of Muni stops, called Kirchhoff’s comments “very disingenuous.”
“What a crock of s—,” Avalos said. “How does blocking a Muni stop make the city more efficient? You’re trying to make money, and you’re creating a two-tiered transportation system in San Francisco.”]
I’ll tell you, I’ve been waiting years for a MUNI alternative to pop up and look, it’s here.
Now I’m not talking about the corporate buses (like Google, Apple, FaceBook and so on) that have been around for a decade or so, and I’m not talking about Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and the like and I’m not even talking about the private version of the taxpayer-subsidized Twitter Express, the 83X.
No no. I’m talking about Leap Transit duplicating the unpopular MUNI Marina Express 30x with a private shuttle bus that costs $6 one-way.
It looks like this, as seen just yesterday:
Via Gregg Meyer
Here’s what the site looks like:
See that? The bus comes with WiFi and leather seats, but they cost three times as much as MUNI. And I’m supposing you and your wheelchair would be better off on MUNI, just a guess. And, oh yes, you pretty much need an Apple iPhone (or as close an iOS device as possible) to climb aboard.
Now you’d think the MSM would be all over this new company, but no. So far, Leap has escaped notice, except from this bloke called Stilgherrian from Down Under. (Uh, he’s _not_ a fan. I haven’t seen a booting like this since Bart vs. Australia)
“This little blue bus symbolises everything that is wrong with the current bubble and boom of internet startup culture. It’s in San Francisco. It belongs to Leap Transit. And, on May 13, this “better bus” — OMFG, it has leather seats and wi-fi! — began operating as part of what’s billed as a “shuttle service for San Francisco commuters.”
Bonus bon mot:
“This socialized [x] is slow and unprofitable. Let’s start a [x] for rich people that pays its employees less.”
Leave there be no doubt, Leap Transit is a wannabe MUNI disrupter. See?
So far, reaction around town has been mixed.
“connie hwong @crh17h This has come to my attention: a $6 shuttle from the Marina to SOMA, with leather seats & wifi. Seriously, SF?”
I don’t know, if the 30X just passed you by ’cause it’s raining and you see a Leap bus coming at you and you have an iPhone and you’re already signed up, well then Leap just might be worth the six bucks.
A 28-year-old white man wants you to ride his technicolor submarine.
All the deets:
Every time you ride with leap, your credit card will be charged $6.00 automatically upon entering the bus. You…
Our shuttles flow downtown in the morning, and uptown in the evening. You can get on at any of the stops desig…
We’d love to. We’re expanding as rapidly as possible. If you’d like us to add service to your area, please sug…
Leap runs on weekdays during commuter hours. That’s from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM and from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
We currently only support iPhone, but we will be supporting other platforms very soon.
We do not currently have a way to have your employer cover the tab. But it is something we’re working on.