Revel suspends his moped service in New York after the death of two people

Revel is suspending his service in New York City after a man was killed riding one of the shared electric mopeds in Queens, making him the second customer to die while using the service in recent weeks.

According to the New York PostJeremy Malave, 32, was heading north on Woodhaven Boulevard in the Middle Village at 3:15 am ET on Tuesday when he lost control of the Revel moped, crashed into a streetlight in a median, and was thrown from the vehicle. He was found by police at the scene with severe head trauma and was transported to the North Shore Forest Hills Hospital where he was pronounced dead. It was unclear if he was wearing a helmet, which is provided by Revel.

Earlier this month, CBS News reporter Nina Kapur, 26, died while traveling as a passenger on a Revel moped. Police say the moped driver strayed because he believed a car was leaving a location and was trying to avoid it. Police said Kapur was not wearing a helmet, as required by the company. The next day, a 38-year-old man was seriously injured with a head injury while riding a Revel scooter in Queens.

On Tuesday, Revel said he would pause his service in New York City “until further notice” as he evaluates the safety of his fleet of electric mopeds. The company also operates in Austin, Miami, and Washington, DC, and recently announced plans to launch soon in San Francisco. A Revel spokesman declined to answer questions about what security measures the company would be reviewing, or if it would suspend service in other cities. “At this time, we will not provide further comment on this matter,” the company said.

The moped company has proven enormously popular since its first launch in New York City in 2018. Since then, the company has seen its passenger numbers grow to 300,000. Those customers have taken 3 million trips on Revel’s mopeds totaling 10 million miles. The service has become even more popular this year, with the coronavirus pandemic deterring many people from using the subway and buses and looking for alternative modes of transportation.

It costs $ 19 to register for the application-based service. Touch a scooter on the map to reserve it (up to 15 minutes before) or reserve it immediately. Each trip costs $ 1 to start ($ 2 if you have someone with you) and then $ 0.25 per minute. Each scooter also comes with two helmets, one large and one small, which are enclosed in a cargo compartment on the back.

But the company has also come under heavy scrutiny. The company has been hit by at least a dozen lawsuits alleging that its mopeds are poorly maintained and dangerous to drive, according to NY1. Revel claims that all of his mopeds are inspected by trained mechanics before they are allowed on the road. On Monday, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a Manhattan Democrat, asked the New York City government to shut down the service.

After Kapur’s death, CBS this morning He aired a story showing images of Revel customers misusing company scooters while walking on crowded sidewalks, passing red lights, or engaging in other dangerous behavior.

The company responded by noting that its mopeds have a speed limit of 30 mph and that customers must have valid driver’s licenses (but notably, not motorcycle licenses) to drive. Mopeds are confined to local streets and are not allowed on sidewalks, highways, or bridges. Revel users are supposed to watch a short instructional video in the app. They also have the option to take a 30-minute in-person lesson. “We take reports of security breaches very seriously, and we work closely with city officials to address any breaches,” Revel said in a statement to CBS.

The company also tracks its mopeds with GPS technology and suspends customers who violate its rules. Earlier this month, Revel suspended more than 1,000 clients for security breaches.

At a press conference Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called Revel’s approach to security “unsatisfactory and unacceptable,” according to the New York Times. Still, the company’s decision to suspend service was his, not the result of a city order.

It is unclear what the future holds for Revel. Many of the problems he faces now were also faced by his counterparts in the shared electric scooter industry. Scooter startups like Bird and Lime were hit with dozens of lawsuits for security breaches. And as the number of people injured or killed while riding scooters increased, many predictions were made about the impending demise of scooter sharing. However, shared scooters still exist and thousands of customers in the US, Asia, and Europe still ride them.