Stalled last month by a pesky cease and desist letter, Leap Transit now appears to be auctioning off most of its fleet of private buses. Fusion caught the original listing for one bus on the website of commercial liquidators and appraisers First Capital Auctions, and now, as spotted by Ars Technica, three of Leap's four or possibly five vehicles are up for bidding there.
Though Leap was heavily criticized following an ADA complaint that revealed the company to have traded wheelchair accessibility for bar seating on its vehicles, in a funny display of irony, the current listings note that the lightly-used vehicles are, all of a sudden, wheelchair accessible.
So far, no bids have been placed. That doesn't leave much with which to repay investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Slow Ventures, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff their their $2.5 million.
Sure, there may be hope for Leap, although the company has yet to respond to requests for comment or post anything at all to its usually active Facebook page. The startup has re-launched its services once already, and could perhaps pivot or buy new buses and launch again. But, if we're being honest here, these guys are out of goodwill and runway.
Of the former, Leap had very little to begin with. The company was no doubt hindered by what could politely be called an "image problem." But as Leap's brief chapter in San Francisco draws to a seemingly abrupt close, it's worth considering whether or not it's somewhat notorious reputation was really earned.
Of course Leap didn't invent private buses and was in competition with similar services like Loup and Chariot. Further, as a mode of mass-transit, Uber, Lyft and private cars might also be counted among its competitors. But it's difficult to have much sympathy for a company that had so little of its own for the law.