Revel mopeds have become a common sight, attracting more and more New Yorkers leery of taking mass transit in the coronavirus pandemic.
But the scooter-sharing company parked itself indefinitely Tuesday after the second death of a Revel user in 10 days.
What You Need To Know
- Revel suspended its operations Tuesday following the death of 32-year-old Jeremy Malave
- Malave was the second Revel rider to die in less than two weeks
- Revel tried to crack down on unsafe riding, suspending over 2,000 users for violations
Police said Jeremy Malave, 32, died early Tuesday when he lost control of a Revel and hit a light post in the median of Woodhaven Boulevard near 67th Road in Queens. Family and friends gathered for a brief candlelight vigil.
Mayor Bill de Blasio backed the company's decision.
"What I've been very clear with Revel is that they cannot be open in this city unless they find a way to actually make this service safe," de Blasio said. "And if they don't come back with a way to make this safe, we will not allow them to reopen at all."
On July 18, Channel 2 reporter Nina Kapur was riding a Revel in Brooklyn when she fell to her death. Police said she was not wearing a helmet, as required by Revel.
After Tuesday's death, Revel Tweeted that it will "shut down until further notice. We're reviewing and strengthening our rider accountability and safety measures and communicating with City officials and we look forward to serving you again in the near future."
Revel launched two years ago in Brooklyn and expanded to Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx, allowing anyone with a driver’s license to sign up.
But NY1 reported last week that a Bronx hospital had seen a spike in moped injuries, and that at least a dozen legal cases had been brought against Revel in the city by injured riders or pedestrians.
The City Council’s Transportation Chairman, Ydanis Rodriguez, on Tuesday proposed a new license for companies like Revel.
“Revel or any moped company that would like to operate, they have to put certain things in place that will guarantee the safety of those who rent those vehicles, but also the safety of pedestrians and cyclists," Rodriguez said.
Danny Harris, director of Transportation Alternatives, supported Revel's decision.
"Our expectation is that those who are operating in New York, whether it’s a preexisting or new platform, needs to make sure that they’re taking care of both the riders, but most importantly the most vulnerable street users," Harris said.
Revel tried to get reckless riders to follow the rules of the road suspending at least two thousand users earlier this month for violations this summer. Those violations include not wearing a helmet and not riding in bike lanes, parks, or on sidewalks.
Mayoral spokesman Mitch Schwartz said ”the final decision on when Revel will be allowed to resume service rests with the city - legally and morally.”