City DOT bans Revel riders from East River bridges

Electric transport startup Revel made a tight U-turn, telling riders they can no longer cross the East River.

Back in July, Revel opened the Manhattan and Queensboro bridges to riders with 25 miles of experience on its mopeds.

But on Friday, it told riders the city Department of Transportation had put the brakes on that.

“Unfortunately, we’ve received notice … that we need to close access to these two bridges. Therefore, moving forward Revels will not be allowed on either crossing,” the company wrote to users Friday.

The company added it hoped to “continue the dialogue around bridge access” with city officials.

Revel’s blue scooters, leased from Chinese firm Niu Technologies, top out at 30 mph — and can therefore be driven with a standard drivers license, without a motorcycle endorsement.

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At least two New Yorkers — Nina Kapur, 26, and Jeremy Malave, 32 — have died mid-ride, prompting Revel to pause its service in 2020 to make safety modifications. The company has also faced lawsuits over the years, some alleging inexperienced riders caused smashups and others that the vehicles malfunctioned.

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Revel’s blue scooters, leased from Chinese firm Niu Technologies, top out at 30 mph.
Rashid Umar Abbasi

This isn’t the startup’s first scrape with city regulators. The company recently launched its all-Tesla rideshare after a public spat with the city Taxi & Limousine Commission over for-hire vehicle licenses.

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