Sometimes we feel a bit spoiled riding mass transit in New York City. Trains run 24 hours a day, usually on time, and they actually take us almost anywhere we want to go. But we are not spoiled. The people on San Francisco’s new Leap Transit bus service are spoiled. The private bus—let’s not confuse this with public transportation—currently runs morning (7 a.m. to 10 a.m.) and evening (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) routes every 10 to 15 minutes. Leap hopes to add more routes in the coming year, but right now service is express between Lombard Street and downtown San Francisco, making just four stops to pick up and another four to drop off. The bus itself looks like the inside of a hipster coffee shop: comfortable seating, a reclaimed wood panel in the back. But the perks are what really separates a $6 Leap ride from a cramped MUNI bus.
Riders can buy Noosa yogurt and artisanal granola bars to snack on while downing Blue Bottle iced coffee, coconut water or cold-pressed juice. The buses are also fully equipped with Wi-Fi, USB charging stations and a communal table on which riders can work on their laptops. And instead of an angry driver yelling at you to stand behind the yellow line, there is a bus manager who will make sure you have a pleasant ride. Now if only they lasted more than 15 minutes.