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Revel Halts NYC Scooter Service After 2nd Fatal Incident

— August 3, 2020

Last week, Revel announced it was suspending its ride-share scooter service in New York City after a second fatal incident.

Early last week, Revel, a ride-share scooter startup, announced it plans to suspend operations in New York City after receiving reports of a second fatal crash in less than two weeks. On Twitter, the company said, “service will be shut down until further notice as it reviews safety and rider accountability measures.” Riders were alerted about the news via the company’s app. 

A 2012 image of New York City from the Hudson River, via WIkimedia Commons via Flickr/user:Peretz Partensky. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Shortly after the announcement, Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged that city officials spoke to Revel executives and “made clear the company’s safety record is an unacceptable state of affairs.” De Blasio said:

“When you see an incident, a few incidents, it causes concern. Our people have been talking to Revel, and they’ve been making changes, but not enough changes is the bottom line. This has just gotten to be too much.”

Before the company’s announcement, the company’s blue scooters, “which require a driver’s license but no training to rent, had been seen as an alternative to taxis and subways during the coronavirus pandemic.” However, the recent death of 32-year-old Jeremy Malave changed that. Malave was killed while riding a Revel scooter. According to police reports, Malave was killed when “he slammed his Revel scooter into a light pole in Queens.” Malave wasn’t the first death, though. Back on July 18, “Nina Kapur, a 26-year-old reporter for New York’s CBS station, was killed in a Revel crash in Brooklyn.” At the time, she had been riding as a passenger when she was “thrown from the scooter when the driver swerved suddenly.”

The electric-powered mopeds were first released in the city in May 2019 and ushered in a “new wave of ride-sharing in an industry dominated by car services like Uber and Lyft.” However, since joining the ride-share scene, “at least a dozen lawsuits have been filed against the company over injuries and scooter malfunctions.”

One doctor even spoke up about the matter in an interview with NY1. Dr. Sarah Jamison, an emergency room physician at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, said “doctors there have treated seven or eight Revel-related injuries in a single shift.”

In an effort to crack down on unsafe practices and other rule violations, Revel announced last month that it was “suspending more than 1,000 riders for not wearing helmets, riding on sidewalks and other violations.” In an email, the company said:

“When people misuse Revel it reflects poorly on every one of us. It upsets the communities we operate in, threatens the relationships we have with local leaders, and, worst of all, puts others on the road at risk.”

Shortly after the company announced it was ending its ride-share services in New York City, de Blasio commented that it was the right thing to do. He added the “company must come up with a way to make the service safe before the city allows it to resume.” He further said, “No one should be running a business that is not safe. Unfortunately, this has been proven to be not safe.”

New York City isn’t the only city where Revel operated. In fact, it offers services in Austin, Miami, California, Oakland, and Washington, D.C. It is currently in the process of starting up its services in San Francisco, also.


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