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Leap files for bankruptcy, auctions off remaining buses

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A bus just like this one could be yours with a starting bid of $5, although it may not run. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The private transit service “Leap” drew praise from many quarters of San Francisco for its tech-­friendly buses’ reclaimed wood trappings, and ire for its lack of wheelchair access.

In May, California regulators issued a cease-and-desist order to the company for running without permits. The company immediately said in an announcement it would be “offline” for the week. But the service never returned, and now it seems the company has filed for bankruptcy.

In bankruptcy court filings dated July 15, Leap Transit filed under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

The now­-defunct company’s assets and liabilities were both estimated to be between $100,000 and $500,000, according to bankruptcy filings signed by Leap founder Kyle Kirchoff.

Receipts were filed with Leap’s affiliates, including SV Angel, the investment firm of the politically connected San Francisco tech investor Ron Conway.

The bankruptcy only came to light as the website “West Auctions: Commercial Auctions and Asset Services,” advertised two buses in Leap transit colors for sale, replete with Leap’s logo.

The heading for the listing is “Bankruptcy Auction of Leap Transit, Inc with (2) NABI 27 passenger CNG Luxury Buses.”

Starting bids for these buses is $5.

Leap’s buses were built to compete with Muni’s 30­-Stockton line, shuttling Marina District workers to the Financial District during commute hours. Now those buses are housed in Alameda, awaiting auction.

Bidding starts Tuesday, Oct. 6 and ends Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, according to West Auctions. Online, the first bus has a note reading “Unit turns over but does not start, running condition unknown.” The second bus has a note reading, “Unit runs and idles, however throttle is not responsive.”

Leap founder Kyle Kirchoff did not reply to inquiries.

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