Mobile Commerce

Loup New Service: More Reliable Than A Bus, Cheaper Than A Car

In what is at least the third mobile-enabled scheduled-car alternative to San Francisco buses, a startup called Loup is selling space in black sedans that repeatedly travel the exact route. The cost? Between $2.50 and $6, depending on the portion of the route.

"Its founders aim to address the inherent weaknesses of the public transit infrastructure, which is strained, often unpredictable and inflexible. And while companies like Lyft and Uber are experimenting with pairing passengers to share rides that overlap and split the price, Loup asserts that a better and more scalable carpooling approach might be establishing routes that passengers can rely on," reports Recode. "Loup is at least the third San Francisco startup to try something similar in the past year. That’s even down to linking up the same neighborhoods, with Loup’s first route paralleling the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s 30x bus through the Marina, North Beach and downtown. Apparently there are a lot of people with that same crappy bus commute who’d really like to give it a tech startup makeover. The other San Francisco bus startups, Leap Transit and Chariot, also raised seed funding, though Leap got some pretty bad press last year and is no longer online."

Backers—who have invested $1.5 million thus far--include IDG Ventures, Obvious Ventures and 27 angel investors, the story noted.

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