Commuters ignore public transit for $6 bus ride in San Francisco
Commuters ignore public transit for $6 bus ride in San Francisco

The compact city that inspired ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft has been offering an all new way to get to work with its fancy $6 big-bus rides with spacious seating, free Wi-Fi and attendants, delivering snacks.

The service was launched by a company named Leap in March with morning and evening commutes following public bus routes between the tony Marina district and the heart of downtown San Francisco.

By launching this, Leap has joined a private shuttle service called Chariot, operating 15-seat passenger vans over multiple routes within the city at a cost of $3 to $5 a ride.

According to the fans, the app-enabled buses and shuttles have complemented an aging municipal transit system that is unreliable and overburdened during the peak hours.

Critics said that the private rides have indicated towards the growing gap between wealthy tech workers and everyone else in a city where starter homes can easily go for $1 million.

For a person, the single-fare bus ticket on the citywide Municipal Railway is $2.25, without including amenities.

San Francisco has a lot of public transit options such as buses, light rail, historic trolleys and, of course, its cable cars.

But with the increase in population and a boom in technology jobs and development, thousands of workers, commuters and residents alike have packed the narrow streets. As a result of this new way of getting people around the city has been appreciated by many.

The move has made public bus advocates such as Thea Selby, chairwoman of the San Francisco Transit Riders, worried.

Selby said, "We are very concerned that people will mentally disinvest in Muni when they take Leap, and that will create a two-tier transportation system".

Recently on a weekday evening, a dozen passengers spread out on a bus that had 27 seats. Stops were limited and the ride home took about 25 minutes as compared to 45 minutes on public transit. Commuters need to pay $5 each if bought in bulk.