DOT Gives Revel Scooters Green Light

DOT Gives Revel Scooters Green Light

Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza

In a pact with the City, Revel has agreed to close monitoring of its operations and will institute stricter safety protocols.

By Forum Staff

The moped-sharing company Revel recently resumed its operation following a month-long cessation of service, the City Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

In a pact with the 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.

According to DOT, the changes result from Revel’s dramatic growth over the last year, during which it grew to 3,000 electric mopedsserving Brooklyn and Queensfrom 1,000 mopeds serving those areas and sections of Manhattan and the Bronx The growth came with a surge in ridership, but also with increasing concerns over the company’s safety record, including 330 overall crashes with injuries in the first seven months of 2020.

DOT officials also noted that 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 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 relaunch, Revel will suspend operations betweenmidnight and 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 will move to immediately suspend the service until further notice, DOT officials said.

“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.”


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