November 18 will be the last day you can ride one of those blue Revel rental mopeds, as the company is discontinuing moped service in SF and New York City, but they’re staying in business and pivoting to some sort of EV charging model concept.
You might recall the SF scooter craze of 2018-19, when venture capitalists squandered billions on blanketing those scooters all over SF, drawing much regulatory blowback from city officials. But the business model didn’t seem to work that well, and it seems the same woes apply to the gas-free moped rental service Revel. KRON4 reports that Revel will shut down in its moped rental service in SF, as well as in New York City, and those are the only two cities where the company was still renting out those mopeds.
According to Engadget, the last day for Revel moped rentals will be November 18. The company said in an announcement to users that “If you have any remaining credits in your account, we encourage you to use them before November 18.”
TechCrunch obtained the internal email announcing the wind-down from the company’s CEO and co-founder Frank Reig, wherein Reig admitted to staff that “the service has been strained and ridership isn’t what it used to be.” TechCrunch also adds that a company spokesperson told them that “ridership dipped about 30% in both San Francisco and New York year-over-year from peak summer rides,” and the downward revenue trend was not sustainable.
Revel is not going out of business, though. They’re apparently pivoting to some sort of electric vehicle charging “superhub” model, and are currently running an all-Tesla rideshare service in New York City.
A reported 67 Revel employees will be laid off because of the move. Revel had already shut down moped services in Miami and Washington, D.C. last year, and was down to a fleet of only 3,000 mopeds in NYC and SF. Plus Engadget adds that “Revel also pulled its mopeds from the Bronx for over a year due to a string of battery thefts.”
Image: Joe Kukura, SFist