UPDATE, with second death details Today’s shutdown announcement of New York City’s Revel moped rideshare program came hours after the second Revel scooter death this month. New York police say a 32-year-old Brooklyn man died after crashing a Revel scooter into a light pole on a Queens roadway around 3:15 a.m. today.
Police identified the deceased Revel driver as Jeremy Malave, and said he failed to properly navigate the road and hit a center light pole in the median of Woodhaven Boulevard in Queens.
Revel, a moped rental rideshare company that became increasingly popular in recent pandemic months as New Yorkers abandoned subway ridership, drew unwelcome attention with the July 18 accident death of a CBS local news reporter. The company announced today that it is shutting down indefinitely.
In a tweet this morning, Revel wrote, “New York riders – starting today, NYC service will be 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.”
The shutdown drew the endorsement of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who tweeted, “Transportation alternatives are important but safety on our streets is paramount. We spoke with Revel this morning and they are shutting down until we can find a way to make shared mopeds safe.”
Earlier this month, CBS2 reporter Nina Kapur, 26, died in Brooklyn after falling off a Revel scooter being driven by a friend. The July 18 incident was the most attention-getting of recent accidents, injuries and lawsuits involving the company, which rented mopeds for a $5 registration fee and 35 cents a minute to anyone with a driver’s license.
Prior to Kapur’s death, Revel had emailed customers in New York warning of riders to obey rules – helmets, no sidewalks or bike lanes – and that more than 1,000 users had recently had riding privileges suspended for rule violations.
The Revel scooters, which can hit speeds of 30 m.p.h., had become increasingly popular in Brooklyn and Queens in the months since COVID-19 struck New York. With subway ridership cratering, the Revels had taken a more visible place alongside Citi Bike rental bicycles on borough streets.
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