Revel to rival Uber? Moped-sharing start-up reveals plans to launch Tesla ride-share service in NYC

Moped-sharing starting up Revel is looking to challenge Uber by starting its own ride-hailing service.

Revel has purchased 50 bright blue electric Tesla Model Y vehicles for the initial New York City launch in May, but the city says it still isn’t licensed, according to Verge

Customers can order the vehicles 24 hours, 7 days a week through the Revel app. 

The initiative comes after Revel suspended it moped service for 60 days last summer after the deaths of three different riders, Nina Kapur, 26, Jeremy Malave, 32, and Francis Nunez, 30, who crashed their mopeds in July and August.  

Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the suspension of the service for 30 days following the deaths.

Revel announced plans to challenge taxis and Ubers by purchasing a fleet of 50 bright blue electric Tesla Model Y vehicles to operate in Manhattan below 42nd street. Revel says they will hire drivers to operate the vehicles instead of relying on gig economy workers.

Revel announced plans to challenge taxis and Ubers by purchasing a fleet of 50 bright blue electric Tesla Model Y vehicles to operate in Manhattan below 42nd street. Revel says they will hire drivers to operate the vehicles instead of relying on gig economy workers.

Revel announced plans to challenge taxis and Ubers by purchasing a fleet of 50 bright blue electric Tesla Model Y vehicles to operate in Manhattan below 42nd street. Revel says they will hire drivers to operate the vehicles instead of relying on gig economy workers. 

A driver transports a passenger in one of the bright blue electric Tesla vehicles to operate as a ride-share vehicles in Manhattan below 42nd street

A driver transports a passenger in one of the bright blue electric Tesla vehicles to operate as a ride-share vehicles in Manhattan below 42nd street

A driver transports a passenger in one of the bright blue electric Tesla vehicles to operate as a ride-share vehicles in Manhattan below 42nd street

A driver transports a passenger in one of the bright blue electric Tesla vehicles to operate as a ride-share vehicles in Manhattan below 42nd street

A driver transports a passenger in one of the bright blue electric Tesla vehicles to operate as a ride-share vehicles in Manhattan below 42nd street

A fourth person was killed after she was hit by a person using the electric scooter after the suspension was lifted.

The company has seen a dozen lawsuits over alleged safety lapses involving the scooters. 

This has led to Revel making changes including the photo verification of users wearing helmets and answering a 21-question test to utilize the service.

Kapur, 26, a CBS reporter from Newton, Pennsylvania, was the first person to die in a Revel moped crash. She was riding as a passenger when she was killed in Brooklyn in July.

Kapur was being driven by a 26-year-old man who claimed he swerved to avoid a car that was pulling out, according to unnamed police sources.

Both Kapur and the driver were thrown on to the roadway but it is thought that neither were wearing helmets. They were taken to Bellevue Hospital where Kapur was pronounced dead. 

The driver suffered only minor injuries.

As part of new ride-hailing venture, the company plans to build an in-house charging station to repower the vehicles offering enough power for 100 miles in under 20 minutes, according to Business Insider

The company currently 3,000 mopeds and a EV charging station across the five boroughs. 

Revel says the ride share rates will be comparable with Lyft and Uber. The company plans to hire drivers instead of relying on gig economy workers, according to TechCrunch

Revel co-founder and CEO Frank Reig’s says the reason for not using gig workers is he wants to treat workers fairly. Reig said the money Lyft and Uber spent combating California’s Proposition 22, could have been better spent on maintaining its workforce.

The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission has clashed with Lyft and Uber over limiting the number of for-hire licenses they hand out. 

The initiative comes after Revel suspended it moped service for 60 days last summer after the deaths of three different riders

The initiative comes after Revel suspended it moped service for 60 days last summer after the deaths of three different riders

The initiative comes after Revel suspended it moped service for 60 days last summer after the deaths of three different riders

‘Revel is not licensed to operate for-hire transportation vehicles in NYC,’ commented a Taxi and Limousine service spokesperson. 

Revel says as of this month the service has approved its base application and issued their base license number.  

The company plans to start the service initially with drop-offs and pick-ups below 42nd street in Manhattan, according to Verge.

The company plans to expands into the other boroughs and neighborhoods based on data and popularity of the service. 

City streets were deadly in 2020. 96 pedestrians, 24 cyclists, 48 motorcyclists and people in 66 vehicles were killed in traffic fatalities, according to the New York City Department of Transportation. 

CBS New York reporter Nina Kapur, 26, (pictured) was the first person to die on a Revel moped in July

CBS New York reporter Nina Kapur, 26, (pictured) was the first person to die on a Revel moped in July

CBS New York reporter Nina Kapur, 26, (pictured) was the first person to die on a Revel moped in July

Traffic fatalities in New York City | Source: New York City Department of Transportation
Year Pedestrians Cyclists Motorcyclists Vehicle
2020 96 24 48 66
2019 113 27 25 43
2018 106 10 39 38
2017 103 22 33 56
2016 141 17 19 43
2015 131 14 22 56
2014 132 20 37 60
2013 169 12 39 59

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