Monday, May 11, 2020

Revel quietly expands downtown with rideshare scooters now available in the East Village



In recent weeks, several readers — notably Dave on 7th! — have shared photos of Revel scooters parked on East Village streets.

The electric scooter company launched here in March 2018 with operations mostly in parts of Queens and Brooklyn. More recently, the company expanded into upper Manhattan ... and by the end of April, their service now includes the East Village (kind of hard to tell on this coverage map that Revel supplied).



A rep for the scooter-share company confirmed the expansion, and emphasized their free membership for health-care workers.



For non-frontline workers... to get started, you need to download the Revel app. Pricing is $1 to unlock a scooter (and access a helmet) parked on a street and then it's 31 cents a minute. Any scooter rented in Manhattan has to stay here. So no road tips to, say, Fort Tilden.

24 comments:

Choresh Wald said...

I also noticed them this weekend, surprised because thought they only expanded to upper Manhattan. Thanks for the info. I think it is great, a silent mode of transportation, every Revel trip is one less Uber trip which is air pollution, noise pollution. All the Revel scooters I saw were parked at the curb, using the street space in a more efficient way than a car (you can park 4 scooters on a space that one car uses. Most moving scooters I saw had a rider and a passenger behind it .

Anonymous said...

WTF? Are we just giving space away to any private company that wants to "disrupt" NYC just that much more? Who are these people, and do they have permission to do this?

Are they insured? If you get hit by one, is anyone held to account, and how would that happen?

How much noise do these "scooters" (motorcycles!) produce?

Do you need a license to operate these things, or do pedestrians now have a NEW reason to fear for their lives?

Can anyone just pay up and get on and ride? I ask b/c the website for this company assures that the scooters can't go faster than 30mph, which is already ABOVE the legal speed limit in Manhattan, AND which is plenty fast enough to hit & kill someone.

So, are pedestrians now in danger of being mowed down by people without licenses riding around on large electric scooters?

Anonymous said...

@choresh wald... they’re not equivalent to a car, which carries multiple people greater distances and can carry items and protect from weather. But it’s nice to have the option for these too! Though I don’t like the idea of these private companies just taking up space that we all otherwise share. And it doesn’t seem like they vet people to ride these.

Brian Van said...

Anonymous 1:12 PM basically repeated all of the arguments that have been used before to express "concerns" about bicycles, whether they are typical manual bicycles, shared bicycles like CitiBike, or electric bicycles. All of which have now been on the streets for years and are now all legal even after extreme legislative and police scrutiny. The danger isn't there. The impacts are minimal if any. The benefits have been great.

I want to express that Revel does seem to have requirements & user monitoring to prevent abuse, and that's really important. But otherwise literally anyone in the city can pay $2600 cash for one of these in a motorcycle shop in Brooklyn and ride without a special license endorsement or without any other restriction whatsoever. Many people in the outer boros own street-parked motor scooters. They haven't been a notable problem before. They're unlikely to be a problem in this format either. The RIDERS don't want to die, either.

But, to go back to the anti-bicycle arguments, people who use these arguments repeatedly (for things that end up being innocuous) lose ongoing credibility. It's hard to convince people that doom is coming when doom failed to appear all the other times. There isn't an overly-concerned local official who is going to come save the neighborhood from this "scourge" this time. So you might as well forget that & sign up in the app and enjoy some responsible riding around the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I saw a woman struggling to ride one of these scooters yesterday. On the one hand, I like the idea. On the other hand, I worry about the learning curve. It's not like riding a bike.

Anonymous said...

@1:12pm

We give an enormous amount of public space away for free to store private vehicles. Until the current electric delivery bike army is licensed and regulated look both ways twice before crossing the street. These scooters look a lot like scooters so they are far more likely to be watched by the cops than the powered bicycles.

Matt C said...

I've been seeing a lot of people writing these in the West Village. I'm fine with them, but right now it seems a little bit weird to put on a helmet that other people have been wearing.

Anonymous said...

@Brian Van: These scooters appear to have license plates on them, which would indicate that they're not available to just anyone who feels like taking a spin.

And you are so wrong to equate objections to these scooters (Vespa-sized, at LEAST) with objections to bikes. And you are wrong, wrong, wrong about that. Or maybe you think a Harley-Davidson would be in the same category as these scooters, and couldn't possibly do damage to anyone, either.

People who are in control of a MOTOR VEHICLE with a LICENSE PLATE on it need to have insurance AND a valid state-issued driver's license of their own. These are not joy-riding items, they are powerful machines capable of doing great bodily damage to anyone they hit or even clip.

But again, who gives a damn about the pedestrians? Pedestrians are all old farts who society devalues, and which NYC hopes they'll all go into a nursing home so they can die fast from Covid, thus getting them out of the way.

Meanwhile, good luck all you brave, impetuous younger riders; you'll be riding a vehicle that gets 'disinfected' occasionally, and wow, the extra pleasure of putting on a helmet that has been handled and worn by countless other people is beyond what words can describe! But most younger people are convinced they can't get Covid, so it won't even enter their minds to be concerned about it.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit the stay at home order has actually made the comments worse. End comments please, EV stop being a pool for people with empty/no lives to swim in.

Giovanni said...

These things are going to make hitting every single bar during SantaCon so much easier. Thanks Revel!

Anonymous said...

Had you bothered to go through their website, you would've found the answers to all your lame questions.

Anonymous said...

How it doesn't seem to you that they "vet" people? They check your driving license and verify your identity, exactly like Zipcar do. Why just say things?

EV Grieve said...

Been thinking about it. Also thinking about retiring the site.

Gojira said...

GRIEVE, NOOOOOO!!!!! What would we do without you?!? What, a pandemic isn't bad enough, now we might have to face the prospect of an EV Grieve-less world?!? Again I say, NOOOOOO, and this time I add PLEEEAAASSSEEE!!! Post less! Do like Jeremiah, run something every now and then that grabs you, but DON'T LEAVE US!

Anonymous said...

@EVG - !!!!!!

Honestly, I wouldn't blame you. We all take this site for granted. This community owes you.

Anonymous said...

"We give an enormous amount of public space away for free to store private vehicles"? Huh? Private parking costs money. Street parking is SHARED. We all benefit from being able to carry people, items and ourselves places. Cars are not like, for one type of person. Nobody is giving away public place for free. A spot opens up? You can use it. It's a shared part of the site go the road that we all use at some point, whether riding upstate or visiting grandma in Jersey or carrying art supplies to your studio or moving a chair or going to Six Flags with friends... Weird thing to say.

Anonymous said...

@11:38pm: Why would I go through their ENTIRE website when it of no value to me? Do you randomly read the entire Privacy Policies of websites in your spare time?

BTW, I still don't have an answer to this question: If someone renting one of these things hits someone else, who is the insured party and how do you get in touch with them? B/c we all know that when people have accidents involving things smaller than cars, usually the driver of the "vehicle" (of whatever kind) just takes off like a bat out of hell.

There is an extraordinarily low level of personal responsibility with respect to the people driving smaller-than-a-car vehicles - and THAT is really the base of the problem. IF people behaved in a responsible way toward others, most of the problems of this entire city would be solved.

Anonymous said...

Grieve, my 2 cents' is that if you are seriously thinking of retiring the site, you should retire it completely, as opposed to Jeremiah-ing it. Jeremiah's site is non-essential reading at this point, as he has clearly lost interest in it. I guess he blew off enough steam over the years.

Having said that, I believe we all appreciate what you are doing here!

Anonymous said...

@Choresh - What about the free education I provide to your children ? I don't have children of my own but pay thousands in taxes so your children can go to free public school. So you'll have to pardon my occasional taking up space on a street that I need to get to work.

Anonymous said...

"Silent" vehicles are supposedly a plus, but that's only until one of them hits you or scares the crap out of you, b/c they weren't in your line of sight AND they were silent. Silent is NOT necessarily good in this situation at all.

DrGecko said...

@EVGrieve

I don't think any of us has a right to beg, plead, cajole, whine or complain about anything you choose to do. The only right we have is to be grateful for everything you've put into your site, and to thank you for all you've done and all you've had to put up with.

That said ...

¡NOOOOOOOOOOO!

But, my god, how long have you been doing this without a break? What sort of superhuman substance are you made of? And what does it mean that you drop your bombshell into a lengthy comments section?

Giovanni said...

@9:45. If you think these comments are tough, you should have been around a few years ago when Bloomberg was giving away half the parking spots to Citibike, or when the gas explosion wiped out a whole corner of the East Village, and especially Empire Biscuit was threatening to take over the world before they suddenly imploded. Maybe it’s time to try something less labor intensive, like a moderated Facebook page with different contributors, and Grieve can point whenever he feels like it.

@ Grieve Please don’t quit just because of the comments section. I know you’ve seen the comments section of Gothamist. It’s like a daily one-upmanship competition between “clever” people who used to comment daily on Gawker.com. If any website should delete the comments section its that one, and also NyMag.com which features a long-time commenter who is basically a stalker posting from a basement office in Staten Island, a guy who doxes other commenters and posts thousands of harassing insults against his enemies, but that’s another story.

By comparison, EVGrieve commenting is tame, although maybe the ones that don't get through that are the issue. I posted last week that Gem Spa closing was terrible, but at least we still have EvGrieve, and now this? We might as well shut down lower Manhattan and sell it to all the Trumps and Kushners for a dollar.

bruce said...

Grieve, I know I've told you privately, but let me say publicly that you and your site have a great deal to do with us being in the neighborhood at all. Before we lived here, the site let me keep tabs on the neighborhood, and what we saw documented here, the people, culture, history, and constantly changing face of the EV, helped foster the absolutely enormous love we have for this place we now call home. Regardless of what you choose to do in the future, please know that we are forever grateful for all you've done and continue to do.

Anonymous said...

Ok so now we're having a deep discussion about the future of this blog, buried deep within the comments of a random post about stupid Revel scooters. I can't decide if that's injustice, or appropriate.

EVG for what it's worth I can sort of empathize. I ran a blog for two years. A few people loved it but ultimately it is such a thankless job. It is a major enough challenge for an entire staff of paid people to maintain a site that delivers fresh interesting content every day. For one person it is ultimately too much. And for that one person to do all the work, without getting any compensation whatsoever... this is not a sustainable kind of project. Anyways you probably won't like this idea but consider setting up a Paypal. I would gladly contribute. You absolutely deserve compensation.