Leap, the luxury San Francisco commuter bus that serves Blue Bottle Coffee, temporarily suspends service

leap counter front

Matt Weinberger

What it looks like inside a Leap bus.

Leap Transit, a somewhat controversial startup that operates a line of high-end buses between San Francisco's Marina neighborhood and Financial District, has temporarily suspended service.

Each of the four private buses operated by Leap are equipped with WiFi, Blue Bottle coffee, freshly pressed juice, and posh leather seats.

It received some criticism by San Franciscans for being an elitist alternative to public transportation. It costs $6 each way to travel on Leap, compared to $2.25 for a ride on San Francisco's public transit system.

According to an email sent to Leap riders by CEO Kyle Kirchhoff, the startup has received a Cease and Desist letter from the California Public Utilities Commission.

Leap also posted the message to the startup's Facebook page:

"As many of you were informed on this evening's commute, Leap will be offline at least through the end of this week as we work through a regulatory issue. We embarked on a fairly complex regulatory process nearly a year ago and we've cleared many hurdles along the way, including the unanimous approval of Leap's operating authority under the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in March. However, the finalization of this permitting process has been held up due to various clerical issues and we have now been issued a Cease and Desist notice from the PUC.

While we believe that our service is in full compliance with all state and local laws, we have decided to halt operations until we clear this final hurdle. We know that this is extremely frustrating for you and--believe us--it kills us to do so. The timing certainly couldn't be worse given our May pricing promotion, so if you have recently purchased a ride pack and would like to be refunded for your unused rides, you can do so by emailing support@leaptransit.com.

We hope to be back on the road in no time, but we will email you as soon as we have any new information or updates.

Thank you for your incredible support. We'll see you soon."

Leap did not immediately return a request for comment, but we'll update when we hear back.

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