May 29, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
One thousand new electric mopeds hit the streets of Brooklyn and Queens earlier today after tech startup Revel launched its rent-by-the-minute moped business in the two boroughs.
After a successful test run last summer of 68 bikes in Bushwick, Williamsburg and Greenpoint, the moped sharing business will now cover more than 20 neighborhoods from Astoria down to Red Hook and Crown Heights.
The Queens areas covered by the service are Long Island City, Astoria and a sliver of Sunnyside.
The mopeds, which max out at 30 miles per hour, will be confined to the two outer boroughs as riders are not allowed to use them on bridges, highways or tunnels, meaning they won’t be used by commuters travelling into the city, unlike the rapidly expanding Citi Bike.
To use the mopeds, riders need sign up on the Revel app and pay a $19 registration fee. Anyone 21 years and older with a valid driver’s license can rent the mopeds for 25 cents per minute, on top of a $1 base fee per ride. Once a rider has finished their trip, the bike can be parked in any legal street parking spot.
To ensure that rides are as safe as possible, every moped comes with a helmet that riders are required to wear. Revel also offers free lessons at their Cypress Avenue office in Ridgewood.
Shared mopeds are widely popular in Europe and other american cities, such as San Francisco, but have historically been less common in New York City. According to the Department of Transportation, roughly 2,100 mopeds were previously registered in the city, meaning Revel will be increasing that number by nearly 50 percent.