Revel, an electric moped sharing service, has just made its first West Coast expansion, this time hitting the Golden State.
Oakland will be the first West Coast city to receive Revel’s 30 mph (48 km/h) electric mopeds.
The news comes as Revel announces that it is launching a fleet of 1,000 electric mopeds under an OakDOT permit program.
Licensed drivers over the age of 21 who pass a safe driving record check will be able to sign up for the Revel program and rent the electric mopeds. The service will cover the entire city of Oakland.
Rides cost $1 to begin and $0.29 per minute until the ride has finished. The electric mopeds are free-floating, meaning they are parked in proper spaces around the city and must be parked again legally when riders are finished.
According to OakDOT Director Ryan Russo, in a statement provided to Electrek:
OakDOT is excited to add this new service to our expanding suite of shared mobility options. In 2017, Oakland and Berkeley launched the first multi-jurisdictional, free-floating car share program in the country, allowing users to rent and park vehicles at any legal parking space within the service area. Today, we add a second operator to that program, offering a space-efficient and sustainable electric vehicle. This affordable new transportation option will be available through the entire City, helping OakDOT to achieve our goal of equitable access to shared mobility services. Our surveys show that services such as shared mopeds can help Oaklanders access jobs, grocery stores, transit, and more, without the burden of private vehicle ownership.
Revel will be creating around 30 new jobs with benefits in Oakland, as opposed to the independent contractor jobs that services like Lime and Bird use for charging their scooters. Revel will also be providing discounts of 40% for any riders on federal assistance programs and a 20% discount for active-duty military and veterans.
According to Revel:
Starting today, Revel will offer free lessons seven days a week for Oakland residents interested in additional riding or safety instruction. Lessons will meet outside Revel’s Oakland warehouse, located at 1960 Mandela Parkway (Bay 9). Oakland riders will be covered by third-party liability insurance and are required to abide by all local traffic and parking laws.
Revel has been expanding rapidly after completing a large fundraising round earlier this year. The company began operations in New York City and then quickly expanded into Washington D.C., Miami, and Austin.
The electric mopeds have received praise as an improvement over standing electric scooters due to their faster speeds, legal parking requirements that don’t block sidewalks, inclusion of helmets on every vehicle, and longer lifespan of the vehicles themselves.
Many riders also prefer the seated of nature of the scooters, finding them to be more comfortable and providing a more stable platform.
Revel isn’t the only seated electric scooter operator in California though. It will now have to compete with incumbents like Wheels. Bird also operates the Bird Cruiser seated electric scooter in California, which is available through its subsidiary Scoot.
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