A Revel scooter is parked at Eighth Avenue and Irving Street in the Inner Sunset. (Carly Graf/S.F. Examiner)

A Revel scooter is parked at Eighth Avenue and Irving Street in the Inner Sunset. (Carly Graf/S.F. Examiner)

New scooters hit San Francisco streets

Revel, recently known for fatal crashes in NYC, launches in San Francisco with new safety protocols

Watch out, San Francisco. There’s a new scooter in town.

Revel, formally known as a shared electric vehicle company, launched its fleet of 432 light blue mopeds in The City Monday in neighborhoods including Haight-Ashbury, The Castro, the Mission District, The Marina, the Richmond District, SoMa, Russian Hill, the Sunset District, and Pacific Heights.

The vehicles are equipped with a custom motor specifically designed to navigate local hills, according to the company.

Revel, which received its operations permit from SFMTA in July, enters the transit marketplace at a time when public transportation ridership is plummeting due to coronavirus concerns and congestion is beginning to increase as car-owners opt for their private vehicles for trips instead. It also faces an established competitor, Scoot, which has offered a similar moped rental service since 2012.

Co-founder and CEO Frank Reig says the mopeds provide a sustainable alternative to cars and a competitive pricing and discount program that will make it more accessible to transit-dependent riders.

After a $5 first-time registration fee, each ride costs $1 per person (two riders can fit on each moped) to start plus $.39 per minute. Any rider participating in a local, state or federal assistance program is eligible for a 40% discount.

(Carly Graf/S.F. Examiner)

(Carly Graf/S.F. Examiner)

Yes, there are other scooter companies (though many have limited or reduced their devices throughout the City during the shelter-in-place order). Reig said Revel is different because it “rejects” the gig economy and instead relies on a full-time staff of local workers, according to the press release.

“We hire locally and are working with the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development to source talent, along with the International Rescue Committee to hire from the San Francisco refugee and immigrant communities,” he said.

San Francisco is not Revel’s first location. Founded in March 2018 as a pilot program in Brooklyn, it now operates in Oakland, Berkeley, Washington D.C., Austin, Miami and New York City, where it only recently resumed service after three fatal crashes over two weeks in July.

The San Francisco launch includes a series of newly minted safety protocols intended to address concerns about reported bad behavior from Revel riders in other cities including foregoing helmets, running red lights, speeding and riding where they shouldn’t.

All riders now must take a 21-question safety training and watch an instructional video prior to their first ride, the press release says. They’re also required to take a selfie at the beginning of the rental to prove they’re wearing a helmet, either their own or one of the two provided with every vehicle.

Mopeds, which can carry up to one driver and one passenger, are capped at speeds of 30 miles per hour.

Reig said the company plans to expand in the “near future.”

“At a time when transportation alternatives are needed more than ever, we’re proud to offer a reliable, clean-energy mode and option to more communities in the San Francisco area.”

Bay Area Newssan francisco newsTransittransportation

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read