More mopeds are coming to a curb near you.
The moped-sharing company Revel announced Wednesday a massive expansion deeper into Brooklyn and, for the first time, Queens, growing from 68 to 1,000 mopeds available for rent.
First launched last summer, the New York-based company provides electric mopeds in public parking spaces, where registered users can take them for a ride through a mobile app — similar to services like car2go. Its executives pitch Revel as an alternative for commuters looking to make short trips — like running errands or to get to other transit options — that might not be feasible by bicycle but can still be completed with a greener footprint than cars.
“If you think about the future of cities, the future of transportation in cities — that future is electric mobility,” said Frank Reig, Revel’s co-founder and CEO. “So we’re excited to be a small piece of that future and pushing New York City toward it.”
The company has expanded its operating zone from Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick areas to more than a dozen neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens — from Sunset Park to Long Island City and Astoria.
Revel’s original 68 mopeds will be taken off the road as the company switches to a new model for the expansion — and while New York State classifies Revel’s vehicles mopeds, or “limited-use motorcycles,” they are technically scooters. It’s also changing its pricing model by eliminating its $4 starting fee for the first 20 minutes of a ride. Revel will now charge $1 to start, or $2 if the ride includes a passenger, followed by a $0.25-per-minute fee.
Paul Suhey, Revel’s co-founder and COO, said the changes were made based on rider preference and trip data. The new scooters feature a lower seat, a more accessible bike stand and turning signals that make noise and automatically turn off after a turn.
Suhey said the fee changes reflect that a significant portion of Revel trips were completed in less than 12 minutes, well under the 20-minute initial charge.
“It’s super affordable for last-mile [trips] and still a lot less expensive than ride-share for a lot of the trips,” Suhey said.
Revel riders must have a valid driver’s license, though the company turns down applicants with a history of tickets for speeding above 30 mph or driving drunk, according to Reig.
The scooters feature a max speed of 30 mph. Riders can travel beyond Revel’s footprint, but they can only end their trips within the service zone. The scooters by law are also not permitted on highways or bridges.