Users of Revel’s shared mopeds are no longer permitted to ride over the Queensboro and Manhattan bridges, according to the company and city Department of Transportation.
Revel informed its customers of the change late last week, reversing a policy it instituted in July that had allowed riders who racked up more than 25 miles on its mopeds to “unlock” the ability to cross the two bridges.
A DOT spokesman said it was the city that put the kibosh on the bridge crossings because of “safety concerns,” particularly involving the “illegal use of the bike paths.”
The mopeds travel too fast for the bike paths and too slowly for regular traffic, creating a serious issue, the DOT said.
“The speed limit on these two spans is 35 mph, traffic sometimes moves faster, and there are no shoulders on the spans,” said agency spokesman Brian Zumhagen. “As a Revel moped cannot travel faster than 28 mph, there is a risk for crashes with faster-moving cars.”
Zumhagen said the DOT “asked Revel to reverse the policy, and they complied.”
City transportation officials previously clashed with the company in the summer of 2020 when three of its moped riders experienced fatal crashes in 10 days.
At the time, DOT told Revel to takes its vehicles off city streets for a month and only eventually allowed their return after the company instituted new safety protocols, including a requirement that customers snap a photo of themselves in a helmet before riding.
Revel also eliminated the use of its mopeds between midnight to 5 a.m. — times when its data showed a higher rate of crashes.
The DOT promised in August 2020 that it would create “a more formalized set of regulatory requirements for Revel or any other shared moped system that wants to come into the city.” In the meantime, another company, Lime, launched its own local “moped-share.”
DOT has yet to enact or propose regulatory guidelines for the vehicles.