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Health care workers battling coronavirus will get free Revel rides

The company is expanding its service to reach major hospitals

March 20, 2020 Scott Enman
This is what 1,000 mopeds look like. Eagle photo by Mary Frost
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Electric moped company Revel is offering free rides for all health care workers and expanding its service area so users can access major hospital centers in an effort to aid New Yorkers during the coronavirus outbreak.

The moped sharing service normally restricts drivers from accessing far-off regions of the city, but the company is increasing its range so users can access Maimonides Medical Center, NYU Langone Hospital Brooklyn, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Elmhurst Hospital.

“In this difficult time, health care providers have no choice but to go to work,” Revel CEO and co-founder Frank Reig told the Brooklyn Eagle. “We’re proud to offer free rides to these essential workers and an expanded service area that includes major hospital centers in Brooklyn and Queens — Revel’s home.

“We hope this helps them to travel alone, keep a safe distance from others, and get to where they are needed most.”

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In an email to patrons, Reig and co-founder Paul Suhey urged users to only use Revel for essential services and to ride alone. They also said the company is ramping up its cleaning and disinfecting procedures for all vehicles and helmets.

Revel CEO and co-founder Frank Reig. Photo: Revel

As of Friday morning, there were 4,408 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City, up 1,939 cases since yesterday.

Healthcare workers can receive free rides by uploading a photo of their work ID to Revel’s website. Since the offer was announced Friday morning, 100 health care workers have already signed up.

Riders do not need special licenses to ride the mopeds, which go up to 30 miles per hour.

Related: New York on PAUSE after Cuomo issues mandatory coronavirus shutdown

New Yorkers have increasingly turned to ride-share alternatives like Revel and Citibike during the pandemic rather than opting for public transportation.

Ridership during the first 11 days of March for Citibike was 517,768, a 67 percent increase compared to the same period the year before, according to the New York Post.

Meanwhile, MTA has seen 60 percent fewer subway riders and bus ridership is down by roughly 50 percent, according to data published by the agency Wednesday.

Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.

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