July 21, 2020
Electric moped startup Revel is zooming its way to San Francisco, launching a fleet of more than 400 vehicles in August.
Frank Reig, co-founder of Revel, told Cheddar the city is "really the perfect market for us" when looking at other successful areas like New York and Washington, DC.
Revel's debut in San Francisco comes as the city grapples with reopening its economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"People are looking for ways to social distance, using e-mobility to get around, so it's really, I would say, almost a perfect time to be launching in San Francisco," Reig said.
Jeffrey Tumlin, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Director of Transportation, echoed that sentiment in a statement after Revel received the necessary permit in mid-July.
"With this addition to our Shared Electric Moped Parking Permit Program, especially in the midst of our COVID-19 response and recovery, San Franciscans will gain a new option that helps offset traffic congestion, reduces air pollution, and allows riders to travel alone and maintain physical distancing," Tumlin said.
Reig said the average trip distance has been more than four miles since May 1, when markets like New York and Washington, DC started to come out of shelter-in-place orders.
For reference, four miles is a one-way ride from Rockefeller Center to the Brooklyn Bridge, and roughly a round trip between Capitol Hill and the Lincoln Memorial.
"It's been pretty incredible to see," Reig said. "That's not a last-mile trip. That's not an inconvenient walk. When you have an average trip distance of over four miles across hundreds of thousands of rides, clearly to me that's a rideshare trip. That's an Uber and Lyft trip. That's a personal car trip."
Reig said user data showed two-thirds of customers used Revel to replace car trips.