Moped Sharing Firm Revel Halts New York Service After Second Reported Death

July 29, 2020

Electric moped sharing service Revel said on Tuesday it was suspending service in New York after a string of accidents and reports of a second rider killed in the city in recent weeks.

Revel said in a statement it was “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.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a Tuesday news briefing his office spoke to the company and made clear the situation was unacceptable.

“We will work with Revel, we will not allow them to reopen unless we are convinced it can be done safely,” de Blasio said.

Revel mopeds have been involved in a string of accidents and received complaints over drivers’ unruly behavior. At least two Revel riders have been killed in the city this month and many have been reported injured.

A New York City Police Department spokeswoman on Tuesday said it did not track Revel-specific reports. Local media reported there had been 25 collisions involving Revel mopeds in 2020 as of July 5.

Revel launched its app-based electric scooter service in the Brooklyn borough in 2018 and has since expanded it to Queens and parts of Manhattan and the Bronx. Many New Yorkers welcomed the service at a time when residents avoid public transportation over concerns of the novel coronavirus.

The venture capital-backed company, which also operates in Austin, Miami, Oakland and Washington, did not say other cities were affected by Tuesday’s decision.

Revel sent out several emails to NYC users in recent days, urging them to obey traffic laws and wear a helmet. The company in an email to customers on Sunday said it had suspended more than 2,000 rider accounts over the past six weeks and said it would roll out an “in-app safety exam.”

(Reporting by Maria Caspani and Tina Bellon in New York; additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)

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