On Guard: Is Leap Muni’s Uber moment?

By sfexaminer – excerpt

Reclaimed wood tables. Leather seats. Iced tea and Wi-Fi. Stepping onto a Leap bus is like visiting the trendy, obnoxious coffee shop that displaced your favorite Mission hangout three years ago, only now it’s on wheels — don’t drop your coffee, techbro!

This is Leap, the upstart private bus running from Lombard Street in the Marina to the Financial District. It’s a tech-laden bus for a techie crowd, and as I board it, my mind turns to the political fallout of Leap and its sister buses may create.

The so-called Google buses, Leap and Chariot (another private bus provider) are all part of a movement in which techies separate themselves from our public-transportation services — like Muni — and create private alternatives. But haven’t we seen this before?

If you could swim in bitcoin, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick would backstroke through his billions like Scrooge McDuck. Uber and Lyft disrupted the taxi industry, and now taxi companies are teetering near collapse.

So will Muni get disrupted out of existence by private buses?… (more)

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