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North Brooklyn Residents Sound the Alarm on Dangerous Driving of Rent-By-The-Minute Mopeds

Several drivers have been suspended for reckless driving of Revel mopeds. (Revel)

June 20, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

North Brooklyn residents are speaking out about the dangerous misuse of a recently deployed fleet of rent-by-the-minute mopeds in the area.

The mopeds, put on the streets last month by tech startup company Revel, are reportedly being driven through local parks at high speeds, used without helmets, and taken on the highway.

Revel released its fleet of 1,000 mopeds across more than 20 neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens on May 29 after a successful test run in the Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Bushwick neighborhoods. Residents in North Brooklyn, however, have taken to social media and spoken to the Greenpoint Post about their apparent misuse since the official launch last month.

One resident, Angie Bee, says she witnessed two boys riding a Revel moped on the shoulder of the southbound BQE near the Metropolitan/Marcy entrance. Neither boy was wearing a helmet, Bee said, and both were laughing.

“My boyfriend pulled up next to them, shouted something about them being stupid for not wearing helmets and we took off,” Bee said. “They didn’t reply, they just stopped smiling.”

Revel mopeds max out at 29 miles per hour and users must agree to not drive them on the highway, bridges, or through tunnels, and to use the helmets provided with each bike, before being allowed to create an account on the company’s mobile app.

When signing up, applicants must provide a picture of their driver’s license, which the company uses to check the applicant’s driving record, as well as a selfie to prove that the license is their’s. Applicants must be 21 years of age and older.

One Greenpoint resident who lives across the street from McGolrick Park says she recently observed a group of young men riding the mopeds through the park around 9 p.m. at night, honking their horns and yelling at pedestrians to “get out of the f***ing way.”

“I went to the window and saw about five scooters flying through the park from the Nassau and Russell entrance,” the resident said. “There were definitely people out walking.”

Each moped is equipped with GPS tracking, which allows the company to see when a user has taken a bike into a restricted area. Users found violating the terms of use are suspended from the service.

Seven Revel users were suspended this week as a result of the McGolrick Park incident.

“Safety is our number one priority and any riders that violate our terms of service or demonstrate reckless behavior are immediately suspended from using the service,” said a Revel spokesperson. “Revel is committed to promoting responsible ridership, from having all riders undergo a driving history check when they sign up to offering free lessons and helmets with every ride.”

The safety concerns recently caught the attention of Assembly Member Joseph Lentol after his office was contacted by constituents concerned about the various incidents they had witnessed.

“The use of alternative modes of transportation, such as scooters and mopeds, provides a unique way of getting around the city,” Lentol said. “However, inappropriate and dangerous use of scooters and mopeds presents a danger not only to the driver, but the community at large.”

Lentol will be meeting with Revel on Monday to discuss the incidents as well as how the community can report inappropriate and dangerous activity directly to Revel.

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14 Comments

Joe

I wonder how many people on here who argue against Revels being used because they are “dangerous” and the company not regulated well, actually support tightening gun control laws? Hmmmmmmm… Hypocrisy thy name is….

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Samjonze

The Revel scooters are great. I’ve used them three times so far.

Pedestrians illegally in the street is the biggest threat

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Help Us Chop-Shops

These e-bikes/scooters are bad for pedestrians who will get run over and injured and who pays their medical bills? Who do they sue? (It is the City which is you and me who ultimately pays). If a vehicle, which is required to have insurance, is involved with a e-bike collision the vehicle will be sued because they have insurance resulting in higher auto premiums for all. Revel won’t be sued or responsible –their lawyers took care of that liability. Why these e-bikes are here is the Money they pay the City. Words of “promoting responsible usage” does not equal ‘responsible usage or qualified drivers’ who should have to have insurance! Pedestrians are being hit & injured by bikers and there is very little reporting of this. We don’t need alternate modes of transportation We need the City to stop accepting Money-Grabs and improve the bus & subway system. Will we ever see Mayor Bill and wife Chirlane riding a bike? BTW Cuomo was head of the NYCHA housing –so why are these building such a mess? Where did all the NYCHA money that ran through his fingers go??? The only way to get rid of these e-bikes is Chop-Shops, let’s hope they can profit by chopping and reselling for parts Hashtag: Save. Pedestrians. Support. Your. Local. Chop-Shop

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No one will read that

I’m assuming your wall of text blames your problems on DeBlasio, AOC, bike lanes etc?

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TS Nails

When doing an article about a service, do some due diligence and actually interview people who use it. You sound like a writer in the 1900’s bemoaning the coming of “horseless carriages”. You don’t take into consideration, with our subway system is in shambles, and the explosion of ride shares and construction has made NYC a traffic nightmare, that perhaps smaller and easily accessible transportation alternatives should be promoted in the city. I use Revel and they’re great for medium hauls, cheaper than an Uber or a cab. If more people used them, there’d be fewer cabs/ride shares on the road and less traffic. There’ll be jerks doing stupid things on all forms of transportation. Unlike cars or cycles, Revel with its GPS can actually monitor where and when someone is driving, making it easier to fine, punish ban and supply police with accurate data.

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Basta

Nah, it’s simply a bad idea to let inexperienced people hop on a scooter and start riding.

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Juls

I’ve never seen these mopeds, but every time I see the gangs of grown men on adolescent ATV’s, I expect one of them to fall and the others to crash into him and form a heap of filthy cheap bikes and body parts of color all over the pavement. I haven’t been lucky enough to see it though.

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Jennifer Sanchez

Funny how NYPD tickets Revels but not the annoying ebikes using the bike lane on KENT wizzing by not saying “on your left” or “on your right” or beeping a horn! It’s dangerous.

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your_neighbor

So Revel will only suspend someone from the service if there is a complaint from the community? I would think they should be keeping track of the gps location of the scooters and proactively remove the user from the service.
Too bad they can’t flag restricted zones and automatically and remotely shut down the scooters when entering a park or going on a highway.

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Miguel

From the article:

“Each moped is equipped with GPS tracking, which allows the company to see when a user has taken a bike into a restricted area. Users found violating the terms of use are suspended from the service”

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P.

“Users found” dangerously using these, would and should require 24-hours clocking of all mopeds, by human or cyber eyes.
Why do I know there are no eyes on the data? The company will find out as you and I do, posting here, lawsuits, or worse. (Imagine truck-moped collisions….)

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