The embattled scooter-sharing company Revel is suspending operations in New York City, following the second death of a rider in just two weeks.
The company, which launched in Brooklyn in 2018, announced that it will be "shut down until further notice" in a tweet on Tuesday morning. "We’re reviewing and strengthening our rider accountability and safety measures and communicating with city officials, and we look forward to serving you again in the near future," the statement continued.
On Tuesday morning, 32-year-old Jeremy Malave died after crashing a Revel scooter into a center median on Woodhaven Boulevard in Queens, according to police. The Cypress Hills man suffered severe head trauma and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The fatal crash came just ten days after the death of Nina Kapur, a CBS2 reporter, who was thrown to the ground and killed while riding on the back of a Revel in Greenpoint. Her death marked the first fatality of a Revel rider since the electric scooters arrived in Brooklyn two summers ago.
During his press conference on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the recent deaths were "unacceptable," and could result in the city permanently banning the service. "It's the right thing for them to shut down," he added. "They won't be able to reopen until it can be done safely."
In the wake of the first crash, Rep. Adriano Espaillat had called on the mayor to kick Revel out of the city, blasting them as "a clear danger to residents, passengers, pedestrians & the overall street safety of our neighborhoods."
The company has also been named in at least a dozen lawsuits. Some riders claim they encountered faulty brakes and balding tires on the scooters. Others said they were struck by inexperienced scooter operators.
Launched in Brooklyn in 2018, Revel soon expanded to Western Queens, and more recently the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. The company has seen a boom in business as a result of the pandemic, boasting nearly 9,000 daily riders in May, compared to less than half that in the first half of March, the Post previously reported.
Last week, Revel announced that it was rolling out an in-app safety exam that riders will be required to complete. The service also suspended more than 2,000 users for unsafe riding in the past six weeks.
Further details about the shut-down were not immediately available. A spokesperson for Revel did not respond to inquiries, including whether the scooters would be removed from the street or when riders could expect the service to return.
The app currently features a vague message, informing users that "Revel is temporarily closed in your area."