San Francisco is a place of opportunity. While some move here to start a business, others move for the plentiful jobs this metropolis has to offer. The opportunity to live out the American dream of starting something new and different should never be shamed, nor frowned upon. But for some reason, individuals that come up with new ideas for start-ups in San Francisco continue to incite controversy.
Leap, a privately-owned bus company, launched its route from the Marina district to downtown San Francisco March 18. Leap has created a luxury bus line for anyone’s daily commute and hopes to expand to other neighborhoods in the Bay Area, according to their website. Everyone is welcome to ride Leap, but as of now there is only one route available.The modern buses are equipped with a snack bar and spacious seating so riders can relax on their way to work for only $6 each way.
I’ve had multiple friends post to Facebook and Twitter that they were upset that there are more buses in the city. Regardless of those who are unhappy about Leap, I am one of the few unafraid to say I totally support more transit options. Transportation is a big conversation topic in San Francisco–everything from Google buses to Uber and Lyft, they all have flaws.
Before I had a car in the city, Muni was my primary source of transportation. I would have to hop on the bus and pay the $2.25 to get to work, pick up some groceries or just to run an errand. It was unreliable, crowded and something that honestly stressed me out. I can’t count the number of times I had a woman cut her toenails next to me or a homeless person yell at me. My 7 a.m. transit options to Union Square were never on time or they were overcrowded and would drive right past me, putting me in a bad mood for the remainder of the day.
Having the option to relax on the way to work and possibly grab an over-priced snack for breakfast sounds worth the four extra dollars to ride to work in Leap’s new buses. Having a bus every 15 minutes during peak hours also makes Leap a more reliable transit option, instead of watching a loaded Muni pass my stop.
Critics argue that these types of transportation options will decrease the City’s input of money and effort into public transit, but I don’t believe that’s the case. Regardless of the arguments, there are still going to be some people who want to take the cheapest ride and suffer through the uncomfortable situations Muni has to offer. This city prides itself on the amount of public transit routes and riders. Although I would choose to ride these trendy new buses, it doesn’t mean the majority of the population would.
Another benefit to this new system is that it creates more job opportunities. Opening the doors to new types of businesses like Leap who would help boost the economy. The new transit line offers room for business expansion, affordable luxury and more choices for the San Francisco community.
Every individual should have the freedom to choose how they want to commute to work and there should be options so everyone is comfortable. This is not the first company of its kind, but it is the first to promote something semi-affordable so it is more obtainable to everyone, not just the wealthy. Most commuters desire transportation services that do not demand an absurd amount of money and are dependable.
Although I have not had the opportunity to ride Leap’s new luxury buses, I am looking forward to trying it out when I’m in the area. Leap is a great way to encourage people to stop driving and use a new form of public transportation that is preferable to a dirty old bus. Transportation options are a necessity, especially for a diverse community of students, professionals and people who want to get where they’re going and quick.