North Brooklyn residents are speaking out about the dangerous misuse of a recently deployed fleet of rent-by-the-minute mopeds in the area.
The mopeds, put on the streets last month by tech startup company Revel, are reportedly being driven through local parks at high speeds, used without helmets, and taken on the highway.
Revel released its fleet of 1,000 mopeds across more than 20 neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens on May 29 after a successful test run in the Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Bushwick neighborhoods.
Residents in North Brooklyn, however, have taken to social media and spoken to the Greenpoint Post about their apparent misuse since the official launch last month.
One resident, Angie Bee, says she witnessed two boys riding a Revel moped on the shoulder of the southbound BQE near the Metropolitan/Marcy entrance. Neither boy was wearing a helmet, Bee said, and both were laughing.
“My boyfriend pulled up next to them, shouted something about them being stupid for not wearing helmets and we took off,” Bee said. “They didn’t reply, they just stopped smiling.”
Revel mopeds max out at 29 miles per hour and users must agree to not drive them on the highway, bridges, or through tunnels, and to use the helmets provided with each bike, before being allowed to create an account on the company’s mobile app.
When signing up, applicants must provide a picture of their driver’s license, which the company uses to check the applicant’s driving record, as well as a selfie to prove that the license is their’s. Applicants must be 21 years of age and older.
Greenpoint resident Haley Papageorge, who lives across the street from McGolrick Park, says she recently observed a group of young men riding the mopeds through the park around 9 p.m. at night, honking their horns and yelling at pedestrians to “get out of the f***ing way.”
“I went to the window and saw about five scooters flying through the park from the Nassau and Russell entrance,” Papageorge said. “There were definitely people out walking.”