This week on Mobility Moments, we speak with the General Manager of Revel in New York City, Lauren Vriens, to talk about the importance of safety in new mobility services.
With multiple accidents and, in some cases fatalities, with sharing services in cities around thr world, it is time for the industry to focus on how it can change the behaviour of consumers, from getting them to wear helmets to fully-understanding these new services and the possible risks that come with them.
Can you give some background information on Revel, such as its creation, goal and outlook?
Our mission is to move people. We are independent. Creative. Gutsy. We aren’t afraid to dream big. We are accountable. To our customers. To our cities. To each other. We are humble. Human. Lighthearted. We take our work seriously, but not ourselves.
We were founded by two New Yorkers who wanted their city to have more versatile — and more enjoyable — ways to get around. Through an intuitive smart-phone app, users are able to find, reserve, and ride Revel’s 100% electric mopeds. Our mopeds are emissions-free, easy-to-use, and fun to ride. We believe that shared electric mopeds will become an integral part of transit networks, filling gaps not served by bike share, car share, scooter share, or public transit.
Introducing a new transit option in cities requires close partnership with local communities. We have worked and will continue to work hand-in-hand with stakeholders in the communities in which we operate. Additionally, we are committed to hiring local, full-time employees and to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.
We are focused on providing industry-leading customer service and a seamless user experience.
NYC is famous for its congested streets. Are these Revels the first step to relieving some of this traffic?
Shared electric mopeds are a great first step to relieving congestion and enabling more people to forgo car ownership. They seamlessly park in spaces too small for vehicles on city streets and take up less space on roads.
How important have shared services like this become to NYC and do you think the public will take to this change?
In the two weeks since our expansion, our ridership has tripled – without any paid advertising – and the numbers are increasing. The demand is clearly there for an additional, fun way to get around. Given the scarcity of parking and congestion in major U.S. cities like NYC, shared mobility services are a no-brainer.
E-mobility is vital to our progression, especially in urban ecosystems with high emission levels. What needs to be done?
Electric transportation options like Revel are an important first step to reducing local air pollution levels in cities. Availability of options is one component, but access is almost as critical. That is why we have created a Revel Access Program, which provides a 40% discount on rides for those who are on public assistance programs or live in public housing.
How do we convince customers to ditch their car and jump on a Revel?
In cities like New York where car ownership is already decreasing, shared mobility services like Revel help to augment public transit and offer a less expensive means of private transport. Parking is one of the biggest complaints in a large and crowded city like New York. On a Revel, which is compact, our riders can easily find parking spaces. Given the 50 mile range of Revels, they can be used for first mile, last mile, and complete trips.
On the other hand, do you think there is a risk of filling up our streets with too many mobility services?
Revel is very deliberate about working with communities to ensure we are rolling out our service in a responsible way. This is why we started with a pilot of 68 mopeds in July 2018 and used that experience to refine our service and our moped before launching a much bigger roll-out. So far, the response from local officials in NY has been overwhelmingly positive. They are excited about the potential Revel has to be an economic multiplier for communities.
What/where next for Revel?
We have received a great response from the 1,000 mopeds that we recently launched in Brooklyn and Queens, and we are looking forward to serving more communities in the future!