Photo courtesy of Revel
Electric moped company Revel is suspending service in New York City after two riders died within two weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday. A 32-year-old man was killed in Queens early Tuesday morning after crashing the scooter into a light pole. CBS New York reporter Nina Kapur died earlier this month after being thrown off the Revel moped onto the street in Greenpoint. “Revel has made the decision to shut down their service for the time being and that is the right thing to do,” the mayor said during a press briefing. “No one should be running a business that is not safe. Unfortunately, this has been proven to be not safe.”
“New York riders–starting today, NYC service will be shut down until further notice,” the company tweeted on Tuesday. “We’re reviewing and strengthening our rider accountability and safety measures and communicating with city officials, and we look forward to serving you again in the near future.”
De Blasio said the city will work with Revel and will not allow the company to resume service “unless we are convinced it can be done safely.”
Revel first launched as a pilot program in 2018, first only serving Brooklyn and then Queens. The service was later expanded to Manhattan and parts of the Bronx. The scooters were available to anyone with a driver’s license and cost 35 cents per minute.
In March, the company offered free memberships to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic and expanded its service area to cover four medical centers in Brooklyn and Queens.
The company provides two different-sized helmets in the rear case and throttles the mopeds to 30 miles per hour. It’s not clear yet how many injuries have been caused by or related to Revel, as the city’s police department does not track crashes by brand, according to the Daily News.
But earlier this month, Revel suspended more than 1,000 users for violating rules, including riding on sidewalks and not wearing a helmet. “Bad behavior doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” the company wrote to members in email, as NY1 reported. “And when people misuse Revel it reflects poorly on every one of us. It upsets the communities we operate in, threatens the relationships we have with local leaders, and, worst of all, puts others on the road at risk. If you see someone breaking the rules, don’t be shy about letting us know.”
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