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Revel To Riders: Please Come Learn To Drive Our Scooters

9:39 AM EDT on August 15, 2019

Revel users will be required to upload a selfie before riding

It's summer school for scooter speeders.

Revel, the company that's under fire for unleashing thousands of untrained motor-scooter riders onto Brooklyn and Queens streets, is finally ramping up its safety effort with pop-up lessons on weekends in August and September in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Astoria, Bed-Stuy, Long Island City, Crown Heights, Park Slope and Red Hook.

Up to this point, the company had been offering free two-hour lessons for riders who want to learn to "Revel like a pro," but they have to trek to Gowanus to do it. The existing classes have also been criticized for having long waiting lists. Revel announced the new schedule of lessons in an email to its registered users. The email did not address concerns about its prior effort.

Revel users aren't required to take a class from the company before hopping on a motorized scooter. Instead, riders just have to upload their driver's license information to show they have a clean driving record and pay a $19 fee, after which they can hop on one of the electric choppers, which can reach speeds of 30 miles per hour.

As a result, Revel riders have been compared to Four Loko fans. As Revel has expanded from just 68 motor scooters in Bushwick, Williamsburg and Greenpoint to 1,000 in neighborhoods around Brooklyn and Queens, the company has been dogged by reports of scooters going the wrong way down streets, riders not wearing required helmets and even drunk riders.

And there's been one incident where a Revel rider allegedly broke a cyclist's ankle in a crash, which has provoked recent coverage that suggested the scooters are dangerous.

Even in instances where a Revel isn't operated by a drunken lout, their speed means that a rider crashing into a cyclist or pedestrian can cause serious damage. Cyclist Paul Dicesare suffered a broken ankle this summer when a Revel rider turned his motor scooter into Dicesare at the intersection of York Street and Gold Street. Dicesare needed to get surgery, according to his attorney Daniel Flanzig, who blasted the company for letting people ride the scooters with no training.

"Part of our claim is that they are putting people out there without proper training — it’s backlogged on courses, you can’t even get in,” Flanzig said about Dicesare's suit. “It goes 30 miles an hour, faster than a bike. Forget about injuring yourself, you’re putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk."

The training will come too late for one cyclist in Brooklyn though, who reported that they were clipped by a Revel rider going the wrong way in the bike lane this week.

For a schedule of classes, click here.

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