Revel stops moped service in New York City after second death

Tuesday's death follows the death of 26-year-old CBS New York reporter Nina Kapur, who was on the back of a Revel ride-share moped.
Image:
A man passes a parked Revel scooter on New York's Upper West Side on July 28, 2020. The moped sharing startup Revel suspended its New York City service Tuesday, July 28, 2020 after its second customer death in 10 days.Richard Drew / AP

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

Revel, a moped ride-sharing service, suspended operations in New York City on Tuesday, hours after the second fatal crash involving one of the company's scooters on the city's streets.

"New York riders — starting today, NYC service will be shut down until further notice. We’re reviewing and strengthening our rider accountability and safety measures and communicating with city officials, and we look forward to serving you again in the near future," said a tweet from Revel.

A Revel spokesperson said the suspension was voluntary, but declined to comment further. The spokesperson said the service suspension only affected New York City, and not the other cities Revel operates in: Washington; Miami; Austin, Texas; and Oakland, California.

The announcement came less than eight hours after a 32-year-old Brooklyn man died after crashing the Revel he was riding into a light pole in Queens, according to the New York City Police Department. The man, identified as Jeremy Malave, suffered severe head trauma and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Tuesday's death follows the death of 26-year-old CBS New York reporter Nina Kapur, who was riding on the back of a Revel moped driven by a man when he swerved and crashed on a Brooklyn street earlier this month. Kapur died at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, and the man suffered minor injuries.

A Revel spokesperson said at the time that the company was investigating the incident and helping with an NYPD investigation "in any way we can."

Revel mopeds debuted in New York City in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and are a more recent addition to Manhattan streets.

Anyone 21 or older with a valid license can ride one by simply downloading an app and unlocking a Revel scooter from a designated service area.

The mopeds come with two helmets. They go up to 30 mph and are not allowed on sidewalks, highways or bridges. Riding from Brooklyn or Queens to Manhattan or vice versa is prohibited.

Revel had suspended 1,000 riders for breaking riding rules before Kapur's death and another 1,000 after in an effort to strengthen safety measures.

Other New York City Revel-related injuries have been reported, but it's unclear exactly how many people have been hurt in accidents involving the scooters. The NYPD did not immediately have that information to share with NBC News.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Tuesday that "transportation alternatives are important but safety on our streets is paramount. We spoke with Revel this morning and they are shutting down until we can find a way to make shared mopeds safe."

During a news conference later, he said the suspension was "the right thing to do, because no one should be running a business that is not safe. And, unfortunately, this has been proven to be not safe."

"They cannot be open in this city unless they find a way to actually make the service safe," de Blasio said. "And if they don't come back with their way to make the service safe, we will not allow them to reopen at all."