WHAT STARTED AS A 68 MOPED PILOT PROGRAM FOR THIS NYC COMPANY HAS EXPANDED TO 1,000 SHARED ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN 20 NEIGHBORHOODS
BY MATT SCANLON
A reader might well have seen them over the last six months or so blue and black mopeds (often with a pair of riders on board) going significantly faster than cyclists navigating their Citi Bikes. A prominently displayed “Revel” logo doesn’t, as this writer first assumed, refer to a cool new marketing campaign for a hotel or shared workspace, but instead to a New York based company that provides Brooklyn and Queens denizens access to shared all electric transportation.
Revel Transit recently opened a new 10,000 square foot operations facility in Red Hook to coincide with its vehicles’ greatly expanded reach from an original 68 moped pilot program in Bushwick, Williamsburg, and Green point to 1,000 across more than 20 neighborhoods. U.S. Department of Transportation safety certified, registered with the New York DMV, and including insurance and helmets, the China made mopeds are limited to a speed of 30 miles per hour (city streets only, and just in the two boroughs). Operation is straightforward, as it were; slowly twist the right handlebar grip to accelerate (we found the throttle to be slightly jumpy, so take care) and apply the bike like brakes to stop, but first timers can also take a free 30 minute riding course if they’d like. A universal phone mount for ease of navigation is a nice touch.
Revel’s mopeds are reserved via an app based system that’s much like car2go’s; riders must be 21 or older (proof of license required) and pay a $19 registration fee. Then (again via the app) they are charged $1 to start a ride ($2 if the ride includes a passenger) and 25¢ per minute thereafter. The first minute is free, giving users time to put helmets on and get otherwise organized. If getting off to have lunch, a “pause rate” applies, which is 10¢ per minute.
The Red Hook warehouse is the repair facility as well as the mopeds’ recharging site, and the company is also staffed with a full time customer service team.
“We are thrilled to bring a fun and easy way to get around more of Brooklyn and Queens,” said Revel Co-Founder and CEO, Frank Reig. “During the nine month pilot, we learned what worked well, what needed xing, and what users wanted from the service going forward, and we took those lessons to heart to improve service.”
855.690.9180 / reveltransit.zendesk.com