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Tech Startup Debuts 1,000 Rent-by-the-Minute Electric Mopeds, Covers Sliver of Sunnyside

Revel deployed 1,000 mopeds to the streets of Brooklyn and Queens today. (Revel)

May 29, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

One thousand new electric mopeds hit the streets of Brooklyn and Queens earlier today after tech startup Revel launched their rent-by-the-minute moped business in the two boroughs.

After a successful test run last summer of 68 bikes in Bushwick, Williamsburg and Greenpoint, the moped sharing business will now cover more than 20 neighborhoods from Astoria down to Red Hook and Crown Heights.

The Queens areas covered by the service are Long Island City, Astoria and a sliver of Sunnyside.

Revel’s operation area (Revel)

The mopeds, which max out at 30 miles per hour, will be confined to the two outer boroughs as riders are not allowed to use them on bridges, highways or tunnels, meaning they won’t be used by commuters travelling into the city, unlike the rapidly expanding Citi Bike.

To use the mopeds, riders need sign up on the Revel app and pay a $19 registration fee. Anyone 21 years and older with a valid driver’s license can rent the mopeds for 25 cents per minute, on top of a $1 base fee per ride. Once a rider has finished their trip, the bike can be parked in any legal street parking spot.

To ensure that rides are as safe as possible, every moped comes with a helmet that riders are required to wear. Revel also offers free lessons at their Cypress Avenue office in Ridgewood.

Shared mopeds are widely popular in Europe and other american cities, such as San Francisco, but have historically been less common in New York City. According to the Department of Transportation, roughly 2,100 mopeds were previously registered in the city, meaning Revel will be increasing that number by nearly 50 percent.

Long Island City Coverage Area (Source: Revel)

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38 Comments

the bx

Other cities don’t live that close to the BX. These scooters will be stolen….

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Tim

We need to be more like Italy. More bikes, motorcycles and Vespas and less cars. I see even grannies riding motorcycles in Italy so if they can do it why can’t we??

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SAYWHATAGAIN!!!

Cause they have been cultured in doing it an have been for years. We just can’t turn our elderly on a dime.

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Gardens Watcher

Quit blaming the elderly for everything. The likely riders are not going to be grannies. They have the sense not to ride in NYC traffic on a moped.

It’s one thing to compete with a small Fiat on the narrow streets in Italy rather than a giant Escalade in Queens.

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Ibn

I promise you these fools will ride these machines in the bike lanes. we already have enough trouble with the silent-but-fast-and-deadly e-bikes ruining the bike lanes, now we’ll have these beasts too. I have ZERO expectation that the laws there will ever be enforced by the NYPD, an expectation born out of experience.

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Correction

“silent-but-fast-and-deadly e-bikes”

I believe you’ve mischaracterized e-bikes. No person has ever been killed by an e-bike in NYC in the decade since they’ve proliferated as delivery vehicles. E-bike riders, however, have been among the more than 1000 New Yorkers killed in collisions witth cars in that same period.

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Phil

Still waiting for Citibike! Why has it taken so long and still no sign they’ll move into Sunnyside or woodside. That’s the problem when you hand over transportation infrastructure to private companies.

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VelvetKnight

I’m glad they’re actually calling them mopeds instead of “e-bikes,” because that’s really what they are.

Wish they’d do that with all the other e-bikes, because it makes people falsely equate them with bicycles/bikers despite that they’re a lot more like motorcycles. There’s also already a whole set of laws for mopeds on the books, so we don’t need to create another for the electronic version of them.

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Bee Siddes

“Once a rider has finished their trip, the bike can be parked in any legal street parking spot.” If it’s a parking spot that requires payment ($1.25 per hour during certain hours of the day), how’s that going to work? If the limited number of “free” parking spots are taken up by the scooters, that doesn’t seem fair to the residents who DO need a car. (These free parking spots are already compromised by yellow cabs, green cabs, Uber drivers, who use them to park their own cars while on shift.)

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Crackson Heights

It’s a moped . It can park on basically any corner where regular cars can’t park because they can’t fit and it’s still legal parking because it doesn’t block the cross walk. Ask anyone who rides a motorcycle or moped parking is never an issue . Geez

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Does this look like Bermuda to you???

That is:. If they can FIND a covered legal spot!!!

Haha. Pass the popcorn. This is going to take a while.

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Time's Up

“they won’t be used by commuters travelling into the city, unlike the rapidly expanding Citi Bike.”

Good lord. This is a news blog. You don’t mean “the city,” you mean Manhattan.

I don’t care how many people still weirdly (and wrongly) refer to only Manhattan as “the city,” you are a journalist and should write with accuracy.

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Queens Streets for LOL

But if the city doesn’t refer to the city how can our small town be a small town? This is so confusing. Let’s have another rally to stop progress!!

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Nightwalker

I don’t like the idea of paying by the minute as it will lead to user’s trying to get to their destination as fast as possible and taking risks. Payment by distance might be worth considering.

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SAYWHATAGAIN!!!

Not you, obviously. However, keep on getting those speeding tickets. You are helping the NYPD fill their ticket quota.

Move to Germany where there is no speed limit on the Autobahn.

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Debbie

Soon pedestrians will have to wear jet packs to get out of the way of all these vehicles coming at us every which way!

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Great idea, but

Love the idea but a few questions/comments.

1. The speed limit is 25mph

2. Don’t you need a Class M license to drive one of these? That would severely limit their potential user base and/or endanger users who have never driven one.

3. If I’m honest I’d rather ride my bike on our amazing new protected bike lanes. Cheaper and much safer.

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Guest

Maybe it’s better than bikes if these mopeds have license or tags.
At least it will require driver licenses. Some education required.

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Gardens Watcher

Hope these mopeds have to ride in the street traffic as the PR picture shows, not in the bike lanes. Agree with David — sharing a sweaty helmet sounds gross.

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Sunnysideposthatesme

Great, more idiots to dodge In a car. A vehicle the roads are meant for

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SuperWittySmitty

Time to get rid of that car. This part of Queens is better suited to pedestrians and 2-wheeled vehicles. Cars take up too much space and many of their drivers go too fast. Like the dinosaur, cars are going extinct in heavily congested urban areas. We’re TAKING BACK the streets!

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Gardens Watcher

Is that Cheech and Chong in the picture? I wondered why they were laughing.

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David

Bicyclists are already getting hit all the time. I’m not sure adding mopeds to the mix is a great idea. Also, sharing a helmet? Get ready for the great NYC head lice epidemic.

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David

David- Do you know what do sound like a good ideas? Drivers pay attention to the road and control the vehicle they are responsible for driving and bikers breaking the laws also held accountable by police with tickets or even confiscation.

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Red = STOP for bikes too

Another good idea would be that the 90% of cyclists that aren’t stopping for red lights in our area DO SO.

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SuperWittySmitty

I always stop for red lights when I’m riding my bike. I think your “90%” is pure hyperbole and a big reason why you’re not taken seriously. What percentage of car drivers speed up at a yellow light and go thru red lights? I see this all the time and I think it’s a far more serious problem. How many cars in our congested neighborhood stay below the posted speed limit? I’m curious, what percentage?

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SAYWHATAGAIN!!!

No it really isn’t. Most don’t. And it’s hard to stop when you are going against the direction of the one way street.

I wish they would allow us to upload photos. I have plenty of pics if your precious cyclists doing whatever they bloody well please.

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Mihai

They are getting tickets for crossing the red light. 190$ per ticket. 260$ if you pay late.

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Sunnysideposthatesme

Cyclist get hit because they are idiots who dont stop for anything

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