NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Not even a week ago, 1,000 all-electric mopeds landed on the streets of a select group of neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.
"Doesn't matter if you live 30 seconds from a really nice subway station," Revel CEO and co-founder Frank Reig said. "That subway line is probably doing one thing: Taking you to Manhattan."
Reig met us at Revel's warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard where the company staged its machines during a nearly year-long trial of just 68 vehicles before last week's launch, giving the city its first and only shared electric vehicle fleet.
It allows anyone 21 or older with a driver's license, no DUIs, and fewer than two speeding tickets who consents to a check of their driving record to climb onto a machine that tops out at 29 mph for just 25 cents and rip around the streets of the nation's largest city in the few phone-taps and minutes it takes to register.
"We shut down from midnight to 5 a.m. because I think it something bad will happen, it will probably happen at 3 a.m.," Reig said.
He stressed his company's focus on safety. Every moped comes with two helmets, the company can shut down every single vehicle remotely in dangerous conditions, it offers riding lessons seven days a week, and the app asks riders confirm they've ridden a moped before.
"There is some personal responsibility here," Reig said.
Revel trusts its users to answer that last question honestly, thus realistically injecting into New York City traffic some number of first-time completely untrained and unpracticed moped riders every single day.
A Revel moped has a license plate registered with the state DMV and thus full third-party liability insurance for every rider.