Citing thefts, Revel suspends Bronx service
BY ALIYA SCHNEIDER
Haven’t seen blue mopeds zooming
around the Bronx recently?
Revel has suspended its electric moped
sharing service in the northernmost
borough because device parts
were being stolen.
Before the company pulled its devices
off of Bronx streets, Bronxites
were able to locate and unlock the devices
from an app on their phones. The
mopeds remain available in Manhattan,
Brooklyn and Queens.
“We are pausing service in the
Bronx due to a signifi cant spike in
thefts, which have left mopeds unusable
for Revel’s riders,” a company
spokesman said in a Dec. 26 statement.
“We are exploring ways to address this
issue and hope to resume service in the
Revel representatives declined to
comment beyond the statement.
However, a person close to the situation
told the Bronx Times that the moped
batteries were a target of the thefts.
The company’s CEO and co-founder
Frank Reig said demand was “off the
charts” when the company expanded
its Bronx fl eet in June 2020, an effort
announced in conjunction with
City Councilman Rafael Salamanca
Jr., who praised the alternate form of
transportation. The mopeds initially
launched in the borough in April 2020.
Salamanca told the Bronx Times
Tuesday that the expansion of Revel
into the Bronx was well-received by
Bronxites who lacked an affordable
transportation option to get to and
from their homes, workplaces or the
“As a vocal supporter of Revel’s
rollout, I was disappointed to hear the
widespread theft of essential scooter
parts and equipment has led to the
suspension of service in the Bronx,”
the councilman said. “I remain committed
to working with Revel, city offi
cials and community stakeholders on
how we can safely restore service for
the thousands of riders who rely on the
This isn’t the fi rst time Revel has
had problems in New York City.
The company suspended its service
citywide on July 28, 2020, after two people
died from crashes on the devices;
there had been 330 Revel crashes so
far that year. In August, a third person
succumbed to injuries from a Revel
crash that took place before the suspension
went into effect.
The company put its devices back
on the streets one month later, with
heightened user training and penalties
for drivers who break traffi c rules.
The city Department of Transportation
(DOT) was given oversight of the
new safety policies, but the city agency
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IN OUR NEW
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, J 14 JAN. 14-20, 2022 BTR
Revel mopeds, pictured in 2020, have been suspended in the Bronx because of thefts.
Photo courtesy Revel
told the Bronx Times it could not answer
questions about the Bronx suspension,
deferring to Revel.
A DOT spokesman did say, however,
that none of the companies participating
in the Bronx e-scooter pilot, which
launched in August 2021, have fl agged
theft of devices as a major issue.
Lime, one of the companies participating
in the e-scooter pilot, also rents
out mopeds in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan
and the Bronx. A spokesman declined
to comment on whether theft of
moped parts has been an issue for their
In September 2020, the New York
Post reported that a man was arrested
for stripping the Revel mopeds of their
parts, after the NYPD’s 77th Precinct
in Brooklyn tweeted that someone was
tampering with the devices.
In September 2021, DOT instructed
Revel to ban its devices from the Manhattan
and Queensboro bridges over
safety concerns, gutting the only
two options Revel riders had to get to
Brooklyn or Queens from Manhattan.
The devices can’t go faster than 28
mph, and the bridges have speed limits
of 35 mph, which is higher than the
city’s 25 mph norm. DOT pointed to the
speed discrepancy and acknowledged
that traffi c sometimes moves faster
than the 35 mph limit.
Just a couple of days after the
company notifi ed users of the rule, a
22-year-old who lost control of a Revel
moped was fatally run over by a drunk
driver after falling off the device.
Revel riders had the ability to cross
between Manhattan and the Bronx before
NYPD did not share information
about the thefts or respond to requests
for comment, and a Freedom of Information
Law request for police reports
or complaints regarding theft of Revel
devices in the Bronx was denied.
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