In lawsuits, plaintiffs have alleged other issues with Revel, including a lack of adequate instruction and maintenance problems.
Nevertheless, City Hall’s focus on moped safety has rankled safe streets advocates, who argue that the city should expend its energy reining in the most deadly vehicles of all — cars.
More than 200 New Yorkers die every year on city streets. Very often they are pedestrians.
“This temporary ban on Revel, I think it reveals that elephant in the room and the blind spot that we have, that is the carnage of multi-ton cars and trucks,” said Marco Conner DiAquoi, the deputy director of Transportation Alternatives.
Revel uses lithium ion-powered electric mopeds made by Niu, a Chinese manufacturer. Its users average trips of four miles in length.
Mr. Conner DiAquoi argues that the mopeds can replace single-occupancy vehicles, which “not only pose a far greater danger but also pollute much, much, much more and also contribute to congestion.”
Mr. Reig, a Staten Island native, founded Revel in 2018 with 68 mopeds in Brooklyn. He has since raised $38 million in funding, much of it from venture capital firms. Mr. Reig, who now lives in Brooklyn, prides himself on refusing to structure his company using the gig-economy model favored by other micromobility firms. Those companies often rely on poorly paid freelancers with few worker protections.
Like the market for plexiglass shields, shared mopeds have proven to be one of the pandemic economy’s few growth industries. After New York City locked down, many people were reluctant to use mass transportation. Revel’s growth in New York City skyrocketed, adding about 200,000 new users between May and July. Today, the company has 360,000 users registered in New York City. That’s 4 percent of the city’s population.