Bedford-Stuyvesant

Moped madness: Scooter-share company unleashes 1k rides on BK streets

(We took one for a ride.)

May 29, 2019 Mary Frost
Brooklyn Eagle reporter Mary Frost tries out one of the 1,000 rideshare mopeds being distributed across Brooklyn and Queens this week. Photo by Daniella Henry

Rideshare moped company Revel began distributing 1,000 street-legal electric vehicles across Brooklyn and Queens on Wednesday.

After signing up, people who download the Revel app can locate a moped to ride using their phones.

I, for one, jumped at the chance to try out the shiny new 180-pound wheels.

The takeaway? This ride is fun as heck. It takes about a minute to learn, and the mopeds are easy to balance. If you can ride a bike, you can ride one of these.

Revel “expands access for a lot of New Yorkers,” founders Frank Reig and Paul Suhey said at a demonstration for reporters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Wednesday. Anyone receiving public assistance, such as WIC, will receive a 40 percent discount.

Revel co-founders Frank Reig (left) and Paul Suhey at Wednesday’s announcement. Eagle photo by Mary Frost
Revel co-founders Frank Reig (left) and Paul Suhey at Wednesday’s announcement. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

“You just experience the city in a different way when you’re on two wheels with the wind in your face,” Suhey told reporters.

It’s also a plus that the scooters are fully electric, he said. “It’s a small piece of pushing New York City towards that transportation future.”

The company launched a pilot in Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg last July with 68 bikes.

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City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was so excited about the idea that he issued a proclamation praising the program on Wednesday.

The goal is to have enough scooters so it takes only three to five minutes to walk to one, Revel’s New York General Manager Lauren Vriens told the Brooklyn Eagle.

This is what 1,000 mopeds look like. Eagle photo by Mary Frost
This is what 1,000 mopeds look like. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

Moped FAQs

  • The mopeds’ home area stretches from Industry City in Brooklyn to Astoria in Queens. This includes Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, part of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Downtown and DUMBO, among other neighborhoods. They will be appearing here within the next few days.
  • Two DOT-certified helmets and insurance are provided with each moped, and there’s a foot rest if you want to have a second rider.
  • When the ride is over, you just park it in a spot that’s legal for the next 24 hours (within the home area), and walk away.
  • The machines don’t operate from midnight to 5 a.m.
  • The cost is $1 to unlock the vehicle, then 25 cents a minute to ride. You can pause your ride for 10 cents a minute. (There’s a $19 fee when you sign up to pay for a license check.)
  • A moped is legally defined as any low-powered motorcycle with an engine capacity no greater than 50cc, and a max speed under 30 mph.

For more information or to sign up, visit https://gorevel.com/new-york/.

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