At Revel, we love the cities where we operate. We don’t just view departments of transportation as regulators, but as partners in making transit safe, reliable, and accessible.
In recent years our cities have embraced Vision Zero — a fundamentally different and aggressive approach to making streets safer for all users. While each city has its own plan to improve traffic safety, Vision Zero is rooted in the belief that traffic deaths and serious injuries are not inevitable but, rather, preventable crashes that can be avoided through engineering, enforcement, and education.
We believe that, too.
We’re constantly assessing how our technology platform and business practices can be adjusted to enhance our safety protocols and produce real results for our users and the public at large.
Beliefs into Action
It’s important to understand that safety isn’t always a one-size-fits-all approach.
In New York, the streets and configuration of Revel’s service area may be confusing for new Revel riders. That’s why we educate them throughout the onboarding process to reinforce where they’re permitted to ride — and where they’re not.
Every new Revel rider must pass a 42-question safety training and has access to free, one-hour in-person lessons seven days a week. We also use in-app notifications to remind riders of the rules of the road.
Our safety training, in-app guidance, tutorials, and lessons all stress that riders should not Revel in parks, across bridges, or the wrong way down one-way streets.
After seeing some riders still choose to ignore these rules, violating local traffic laws and our policies, we decided to do even more.
Parks and Bridges
Riding a moped in many New York City parks is prohibited by law, however, the rules can be confusing. For example, motor vehicles are permitted in Manhattan’s Central Park, but Brooklyn’s Prospect Park went car-free in 2018. Unfortunately, there are also people who knowingly violate local law and will operate prohibited vehicles — including our shared mopeds — in city parks.
Traffic on New York City’s major bridges flows fast. While Revels can legally travel over many of these crossings, it can be a challenge for our less experienced riders with the speed curbed at 30 mph, so we prohibit it.
Last summer, we saw more riders than ever before violating local laws and our policies against traveling in parks, over bridges, and through tunnels. We needed a fix.
Using data from NYC’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and New York State’s GIS program, we established more than 1,500 No Ride Zones throughout our service area. With this detailed mapping layer, we’re now able to monitor when rides cross into these prohibited parks and bridges, and can alert and educate riders. If the infractions are repeated, we’ll suspend them from Revel’s platform.
Reveling the wrong way down one-way streets is dangerous and illegal. As with any motor vehicle, operators are required to obey traffic signs. Whether it’s a Revel rider who is unfamiliar with certain areas, or a rider intentionally violating our policy, we work hard to correct this behavior.
We identified and mapped more than 4,500 one-way streets and directions of travel in our service area to apply the same auto-alerts to these No Ride Zones that we use for prohibited parks and bridges. Now, anytime our GPS system detects riders going the wrong direction, we’ll warn or suspend that rider.
In addition, Revel also works hand in hand with the NYC Department of Transportation to hold riders accountable who run red lights at intersections. While we don’t have an integrated tool within our app for these violations, we are committed to addressing all aspects of irresponsible riding.
Actions into Data, Data into Results
With these detection tools at our disposal, we gather an incredible amount of data that informs our actions going forward.
Over time, we can assess rider behavior and how well our detection and warning systems are working so that we can better communicate with our users and improve rider compliance.
Since implementing these measures in August 2020, we’ve warned thousands of riders and either temporarily or permanently suspended more than 1,330 users for violating these policies. The measures immediately resulted in a 40% reduction in the rate of auto-detected incidents during the first three months after implementation.
Our combination of engineering, education, and enforcement has vastly improved rider behavior, making Revel a better partner with our departments of transportation and giving confidence to our communities that they can count on us to strive toward safety.
Stay tuned for more...