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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Leap Transit Forced to Cease Operations by State

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 1:22 PM

click to enlarge LEAP
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Leap Transit, the private bus line that operates a luxury alternative to Muni between the Financial District and the Marina, has halted operations after receiving a cease and desist letter from the California Public Utilities Commission. 

In a post on its Facebook page published last night, the company announced, "Leap will be offline at least through the end of this week as we work through a regulatory issue." The statement chalks up the problems to "various clerical issues": 
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. 
But the actual cease and desist order from the CPUC (embedded below) suggests that the problem is more serious. The letter, dated May 11, states the Leap has failed to provide proof of liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance and "evidence of compliance with the controlled substances and alcohol testing requirements." According to the letter, Leap has also not complied with certain "safety requirements prior to operation," including inspections by the California Highway Patrol.

Leap has faced pretty much constant criticism since it launched earlier this spring. The private buses are not all wheelchair accessible, and the Chronicle reported that the company had actually removed wheelchair accessibility in order to install bar seating. The Chronicle has also detailed how the company has sought to "game" the regulatory system by seeking licensing from the state instead of more stringent local bodies. Looks like that bet is no longer paying off. 

Leap Transit Cease and Desist Order


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About The Author

Julia Carrie Wong

Bio:
Julia Carrie Wong's work has appeared in numerous local and national titles including 48hills, Salon, In These Times, The Nation, and The New Yorker.

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