Revel suspended 1,000 riders in a month, issues email warning to customers

Brooklyn Paper hits the streets on new scooter rentals
Reporter Kevin Duggan following all the rules of the road while riding a Revel scooter around Grand Army Plaza.
File photo by Trey Pentecost

Scooter sharing company Revel has suspended more than 1,000 of its riders in the past month for behaving badly on the streets, prompting officials to send out a scolding email to its New York City customers on Thursday.

“We fine or suspend riders who violate these or our other safety rules. It’s no fun to get suspended – just ask one of the 1,000+ riders that we’ve suspended in the past 30 days,” the message read. “This doesn’t have to be you, and it won’t be as long as you ride the right way.”

The July 16 email — which boasted the ominous subject line “Hey NY, we need to talk…” — included a bullet-point list that reminds riders of their rules, such as wearing their DMV-approved helmet to comply with state law, not riding in parks, and not letting anyone else use your account, “even if they ask nicely.”

The company also reiterated some very basic rules of the road like not riding in bike lanes or obeying traffic signs.

“We can’t believe we have to say this, but no running red lights,” the email reads. 

Revel outlined a list of rules and traffic laws riders must adhere to, in a July 16 email. Screenshot

These were some of the most common offenses by riders and the suspensions Revel issued as a result are permanent, according to a spokeswoman for the company. 

To stop some scofflaw scooterists, Revel encouraged its customers to tell on each other by sending the company an email or tweet with the date, time, location, and photo or video of any wrongdoing.

“If you see someone breaking the rules, don’t be shy about letting us know,” the email read. “Hold yourself and others accountable for riding safely, and we’ll do the same.”

The scooters have reportedly led to serious injuries in the Bronx recently, two emergency doctors told the New York Post

Last August, a man sued the company saying that he suffered a broken ankle that required surgery after a Revel rider crashed into him from behind in Dumbo, Streetsblog reported

The company — which first rolled out in Bushwick in 2018, before spreading further to other parts of Brooklyn and Queens — expanded into sections of the Bronx and Manhattan earlier in the year, along with other cities around the country.

Revel now counts almost 300,000 riders in New York City, and the company spokeswoman said the vast majority of them use the scooters without breaking the rules or laws.

But to stay in the good graces with residents in all the service areas, the company’s email message pleaded with riders to do better. 

“Bad behavior doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and when people misuse Revel it reflects poorly on every one of us. It upsets the communities we operate in, threatens the relationships we have with local leaders, and, worst of all, puts others on the road at risk,” the email read. “Thanks for hearing us out, and happy (responsible) riding.”