Press Release #20-035
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Contact: Scott Gastel/Alana Morales (212) 839-4850
New York City Department of Transportation Announces Revel will Relaunch Today under a New and Strict Safety Protocol
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that moped-sharing company Revel will resume its operation today following a month-long cessation of service. In an agreement with New York City, the company has agreed to close monitoring of its operations and will institute new stricter safety protocols -- including around rider training, account security, helmet use and its hours of operation.
“We are pleased to see that Revel, a popular new mode of transportation for many New Yorkers, has committed to enhanced safety measures, including strengthening rider training, monitoring and accountability, fostering better compliance with helmet requirements, and rooting out fraudulent and dangerous rider behavior,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “The City will closely monitor Revel’s operations during this relaunch and, going forward, plans to work with all interested stakeholders to promulgate rules to govern the operation of shared moped services in New York City.”
“Revel was born and bred in New York City, and we’re proud to relaunch in our hometown with an even better service,” said Frank Reig, CEO and Co-Founder of Revel. “With support from partners like the NYC Department of Transportation, we’re coming back stronger than ever and providing continued access to the more than 360,000 New Yorkers who rely on Revel to get around their city.”
The changes result from Revel’s dramatic growth over the last year, during which it grew from 1,000 electric mopeds serving Brooklyn and Queens to 3,000 mopeds serving those areas and sections of Manhattan and the Bronx The growth came with a surge in ridership, but also with growing concerns over the company’s safety record, including 330 overall crashes with injuries in the first seven months of 2020.
Revel voluntarily ceased operations on July 28, and has now agreed to enhance its safety requirements by implementing a new Safety & Rider Accountability Protocol. The new protocol, which the City and DOT will monitor closely for compliance, includes the following changes:
- Revel will enhance rider training by requiring all current and new members to complete a 30-question safety training. With data showing that inexperienced riders are at a higher risk of being involved in a crash, the company will increase access to in-person riding lessons tenfold, from 112 class slots per week to about 1,164.
- The company will introduce measures to ensure that riders are wearing helmet, a requirement under state law. Revel will require riders and passengers to certify that they are wearing helmets -- via a mandatory “selfie” submission prior to each ride.
- New rider accountability, monitoring and account-sharing policies have also been created. Revel will increase its penalties for bad behavior, use data from its mopeds to identify riders who ride in parks, or the wrong way down one-way streets, and introduce a package of measures to combat account sharing. The protocol will also include the company’s new community reporting tool, enabling members of the public to report dangerous riding.
- For the first 60 days of the re-launch, Revel will suspend operations from Midnight-5 A.M, a period during which DOT found a higher rate of crashes. Revel will revisit this policy with DOT and the City at the end of the trial period.
- Revel will provide anonymized trip, training, and incident data to DOT, so that the agency may better monitor its performance and compliance with the protocol.
If Revel does not follow the protocol’s commitments, the City of New York will move to immediately suspend the service until further notice.
DOT also intends to promulgate rules allowing New York City to govern the operation of shared moped services such as Revel and will work with stakeholders including elected officials, community and business leaders, the public and shared moped service industry reps as these rules are developed.