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Revel Scooters Quietly Creates New Manhattan Service Area, Plus Free Use for Health Workers

11:19 AM EDT on March 26, 2020

Photo: Revel

Never let a crisis go to waste.

Revel, the electric scooter company, has just opened a new zone in upper Manhattan, expanding the Queens and Brooklyn footprint by almost double and providing new ways for New Yorkers to get around.

revel new map

The company is also offering free memberships to health care workers during the crisis, just as Citi Bike is doing, too.

Revel's announcement focused on its contributions to the emergency service workers, but the expansion into Manhattan is the big news. Since its founding in March, 2018, the company's zone of operations has been limited to an arc of Western Queens and North Brooklyn, though that zone expanded a bit last week to include some key hospital centers in those boroughs.

But as of today, members can now rent scooters in Manhattan above 65th Street and in a tiny area of Manhattan's hospital-rich Kips Bay (see map). There is also a one-block-square zone near the Javits Center that is hard to see on the map.

Revel scooters cannot be taken across the river. Any scooter rented in Brooklyn or Queens must stay in that zone. Any scooter rented in the Manhattan zone must stay in that zone.

The company is only emphasizing the free memberships for emergency workers.

“During this crisis, we want to do everything we can to help New York City recover, and right now, that means helping health care workers get to work safely,” said Frank Reig, the company's CEO and co-founder. “We encourage everyone who is not an essential worker to stay at home, but we are here to support those that are desperately needed at work.”

Indeed, even comments provided by the company by elected officials try to downplay the expansion in favor of what the company believes is more noble messaging: the support for healthcare workers.

“While most New Yorkers need to be staying home, it’s critical that those who need a way to get to their jobs, like health care workers, can do so safely,” Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez said in a statement provided by Revel. “By opening this new service area, Revel is providing these people an alternative to public transit, where they can travel alone, and keep a safe distance from others to avoid contracting the virus and further hinder our already over-stretched health care system.”

Council Speaker Corey Johnson also furnished a quote that thanked Revel.

“It’s great to see this New York company rise to the occasion in our city’s time of need and find a way to help the healthcare workers who are on the front lines battling this pandemic for all of us,” he said.

To receive free rides, employees of any health care provider can visit Revel’s website and upload a photo of their employee ID cards. The scooters are being disinfected more frequently, and helmets are being cleaned, the company added.

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