The smartphone-enhanced, coffee-slinging, pro-networking Leap Transit could only exist in the Bay.

Close your eyes, listen to this video's soundtrack, and try to imagine what's happening. Are climbers cresting Everest's mighty peak? Is a physically disabled runner overcoming all odds to win the New York Marathon?

Nope. The rousing score is touting an ad for San Francisco's new luxury-bus service, Leap Transit.

After a couple years of testing, the private line opened this week for service between the Marina District and downtown. It's sort of the anti-Muni for the young tech crowd. It looks chic and spacious, but taking a $6 ride means downloading the Leap app, creating an account, uploading a photo (required), entering credit-card information ... and that's as far as I got, because I'm fine taking Muni.

But the video shows what happens next. It starts with scanning a QR code to climb aboard (tattoos also required):

Then you plant your butt on cushy seats next to wall paneling that looks ripped from an old, weathered barn:

You also deal with some kind of greeter, because the Leap process is complex enough to require on-site support:

And there's mind-melding with your laptop (note the entire trip probably takes all of 15 minutes):

Yeah, this Luddite behavior would never happen:

Use your phone to purchase health food like this vegan, organic, gluten-free protein shake. The snacks currently on offer are Blue Bottle Coffee and Happy Moose Juice (perhaps this "Kale Earnhardt" slurry?):

And don't forget to stare off while dreaming about disrupting an industry:

Consult your phone again for the 411 on almond-butter bars:

And lock yourself into a hermetic media-verse. Or who knows—maybe these folks are actually interacting with each other, via Leap's ability to peruse the profiles of other riders:

Forget about arriving at a destination—fade into a dream vision of halcyon brand perfection:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: An elderly resident of a village in Japan's Gunma Prefecture.
    Life

    In Japan’s Vanishing Rural Towns, Newcomers Are Wanted

    Facing declining birthrates and rural depopulation, hundreds of “marginal villages” could vanish in a few decades. But some small towns are fighting back.

  2. audience members at venue
    Life

    What Early-Career Income Volatility Means for Your Middle-Aged Brain

    A long-term study of people in four cities finds that income volatility in one’s 20s and 30s correlates with negative brain effects in middle age.

  3. photo: A woman crosses an overpass above the 101 freeway in Los Angeles, California.
    Transportation

    Navigation Apps Changed the Politics of Traffic

    In an excerpt from the new book The Future of Transportation, CityLab’s Laura Bliss adds up the “price of anarchy” when it comes to traffic navigation apps.

  4. People handle guns on display at a show in Las Vegas.
    Life

    The 3 Gun-Control Laws That Work Best in the U.S.

    States with stricter gun-control laws have fewer homicides, especially when they’re used in combination, according to a new study.

  5. Equity

    Bernie Sanders and AOC Unveil a Green New Deal for Public Housing

    The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act would commit up to $180 billion over a decade to upgrading 1.2 million federally owned homes.

×