Images courtesy of Revel
After launching last summer with an initial fleet of 68 mopeds, Brooklyn-based tech startup Revel has released 1,000 new electric mopeds throughout Brooklyn and Queens today. The new models will replace the old ones and expand the service area from only Bushwick, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint to more than 20 neighborhoods, including Astoria, Red Hook (where Revel has also opened a new 10,000-square-foot warehouse), Crown Heights, and Bed-Stuy. Since launching their pilot program last July—the first of its kind in New York City—there have been 34,000 Revel e-moped rides with 4,000 riders using the mopeds.
The new e-mopeds are built for two riders and are US DOT safety certified, registered with the New York Department of Vehicles, and include insurance and helmets. With the launch, Revel will also introduce a new pricing structure, a $1 charge to start a ride followed by $0.25 per minute. The first minute of every ride, which the company refers to as a “safety minute,” is free, giving riders time to put their helmet on. The per-ride costs are on top of an initial $19 start-up fee, which approved new users pay for after downloading the Revel app and snapping a picture of their driver’s license. The mopeds still cannot be driven over bridges, highways, or tunnels.
Tapping out at 30 mph, the pilot mopeds have had a good safety record over the past nine months. “For safety reasons, we support anything that can replace our over-dependence on multi-ton motor vehicles,” said Marco Conner, a deputy director at Transportation Alternatives to the Daily News. “People are injured and killed on city streets because 4,000 pounds of steel are driving around.” Connor also expressed concern over Revel’s limited operation zone, which doesn’t serve many low-income neighborhoods. “All these companies have a responsibility to ensure that their services are provided in an equitable manner,” said Conner. “If they’re not, the city has a responsibility to ensure they do through regulation.”
To that end, Revel has announced it will offer 40% off all rides for users who use public assistance programs such as SNAP or live in NYCHA housing.
“Over the last nine months, we have seen our mopeds become an important part of riders’ routines and an integrated part of the transit landscape,” Revel co-founder and COO Paul Suhey said. “Expanding to 1,000 mopeds across Brooklyn and Queens will help even more New Yorkers meet their transportation needs. Revel is here to stay in New York City.”
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