When Ojo launched its line of Vespa-inspired “adult electric scooters” in Austin last year, it likely occurred to many that adding slightly more robust vehicles to our micromobility arsenal might be a good way to expand the city’s car-free options and increase e-vehicle ridership overall.
On Friday, those options increased by 1,000, with Brooklyn-based company Revel launching its moped-sharing service in Austin, putting that number of its electric vehicles on the streets.
While riders can rent Revel’s electric mopeds using more or less the same setups they use for scooters and bikes, the mopeds are full-on road vehicles with the requisite registration, licensing, and insurance requirements. Users must be 21 or over and are required to upload their driver’s licenses (and a selfie) to Revel’s and pass a driving-record background check to gain access to the vehicles.
Revels are registered with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, driven and parked in the street, and insured, and the company provides two TxDOT-certified helmets to with each vehicle.
Once drivers are approved, they use the Revel app to find, reserve, and unlock the mopeds. Revels are limited to local streets and are capped at a speed of 30 miles per hour. They are also parked on the street. Rides cost $1 per person to start, followed by 25 cents per minute to ride and 10 cents per minute while parked.
Austin is the third U.S. city where Revel has deployed its moped fleets; the first were was its home base, Brooklyn, and the second was Washington, D.C.