Private buses are all the rage, or everything that’s wrong, with San Francisco…depending on who you ask. Though they stop at city bus stops, the company-owned buses are not for everyone — they’re for employees of Google, Apple and other well-heeled Silicon Valley tech companies.
While the plush, wifi equipped people movers caused an outcry, others saw an opportunity to provide the a bus service that’s a step up from public transportation. One of these startups is Leap, an Uber for buses (you know that must have been in their deck).
Leap allowed customers to call for a bus using an app and to buy drinks and snacks. However, Ars Technica discovered that the company’s put three of its busses on the auction block; the company reportedly has four busses in service with another in reserve.
The tech site is also speculating that the company may be in the process of shutting down. Leap’s social media accounts, which went dark on May 19, seem to support the theory.
The company’s also been hit with an Americans with Disability lawsuit in addition to the California Public Utilities Commission hitting it with a cease-and-desist letter for operating without a license from the agency.
The takeaway? Disruption can be hard and expensive. If you’re planning on being the “Uber of…”, be prepared to hire lots of lawyers to litigate and lobby to make sure you get your way and to keep the incumbent interests at bay until your startup can get a firm foothold.
Via Ars Technica. Photo by Leap.