Revel to make return to NYC service after safety concerns addressed by company

(Arun D/ Flickr Creative Commons)

After three deaths in New York City within the span of about a month and 330 crashes with injuries in 2020 alone, Revel plans to return to the streets with the blessing of the Department of Transportation.

Revel will come back onto the scene after a month-long hiatus with new safety measures including rider training, account security, helmet use and changes to its hours of operation that the company believes should iron out the kinks that may have occurred when the service tripled in size over the course of the past year.

Revel was born and bred in New York City, and we’re proud to relaunch in our hometown with an even better service,” Frank Reig, CEO of Revel, said. “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.” 

DOT will be monitoring their return to service and compliance to Revel’s commitment to require a 30-question quiz, a ten-fold increase in in-person training, a mandatory selfie of riders wearing helmets to comply with state law as well as penalize bad drivers such as those who drive mopeds through parks or go the wrong way down one-way streets. 

Revel will also introduce measures to prevent account sharing to help hold members accountable to traffic laws and not allow service to continue between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. for a trial period of 60 days.

Additionally, the company will be required to hand over trip information on an anonymous basis to DOT for oversight of these protocols.

“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,”  DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. “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.”

If Revel’s safety performance does not improve, DOT says it will reserve the right to suspend the service further.

The oversight of Revel being done by DOT at the moment is something one council member hopes to mandate across the board, however.

Last week, Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez said he planned to introduce a bill to put DOT in charge of overseeing all scooter share services despite their compliance with state law, meaning they would need to apply for approval before going into operation.

Rodriquez told reporters at a press conference unveiling the legislation that this was not an attempt to stymie the abilities of scooter shares to provide a popular service but to provide safety to an already popular form of transportation.