When Revel first came online last summer, I was skeptical. It seemed dangerous to be offering scooters to the masses through a phone app. But a dear friend of mine took a ride on one and told me it was fun, efficient and safe.
I decided to download the app in the fall. I put in my driver’s license info and paid a fee to join. I spoke to some friends who had used them and got tips about some things to keep in mind, but nothing seemed too different from riding a bike or driving a car.
The level of attention, care and the need to be a defensive driver were all very similar. I took a few short, slow rides around my house to get the hang of it.
The hardest part was discovering how to put the kick stand down. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, but that’s just how easy it is to ride these things. The instructions are very clear on the app and the customer service is very good.
I also like that they don't go above 30 miles per hour and you can't ride them on major bridges or highways. This means that if you're going “fast,” you're likely traveling right around the speed limit of 25 mph, which is great.
Since I grew comfortable on the Revel, I have found it to be the perfect intermediary between my bike, the subway or bus, or a cab. If I'm running late, it's easy to grab one.
They are significantly cheaper than a cab (most of my rides are between $3 and $10), and I generally take them to Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy or Downtown Brooklyn. My most expensive ride so far was 27 minutes and $12.
One day I was running late, so I used one to get to the 7 train, saving myself a significant wait for the G train, and got to my meeting on time. Since I no longer buy a monthly Metrocard, the $3 rides are about the same as taking public transit.
Revels are also really fun to ride! They are just like riding a bike, but I get less sweaty. I've even ridden with a passenger on the back, and that was a very fun thrill.
I think the more modes of sharable, eco-friendly (Revels are 100 percent electric) transit we can introduce into our system, the better the system functions. I'm very happy with Revel and I hope they are here to stay.