The New York City Department of Transportation has proposed new rules that would regulate the use of moped share services, like Revel and Lime, within the city. According to a report by StreetsBlog, the rules would prohibit moped share usage on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Queensboro Bridge, and the Williamsburg Bridge, as well as on “limited access highways” and bike lanes. Moped share companies would have to start maintaining records of incidents in which their vehicles are involved in crashes; they would also have to obtain permits to operate within the city, and face harsh fines if they operate without a permit or break other rules.
As StreetsBlog notes, both Revel and Lime are currently permitted to maintain operations in New York City via an agreement, but not via a formal permit, and their mopeds fall under the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle’s regulator umbrella rather than the state Department of Transportation. They have also been involved in a spate of controversies, such as an incident last month in which a drunk driver in Manhattan hit and killed a Revel user.
In a statement about the proposed rules, the Department of Transportation said: “Shared moped services have recently gained popularity as a mode of transportation. The growth in popularity of shared moped services has also created a number of safety concerns for New Yorkers. Therefore, in June 2021, Local Law 67 of 2021, was enacted prohibiting the operation of a moped share system without DOT approval, and requiring providers to adhere to rules promulgated by DOT regarding operations, safety, and data sharing.” The statement referred to the June law requiring moped share companies to apply for DOT permits; instructing the DOT to establish safety rules for moped share companies; and limiting moped share systems to vehicles “incapable of exceeding 30 miles per hour.”
Revel has previously had to suspend operations within the city after a series of headline-making injuries and deaths, as StreetsBlog notes. The company published a safety report finding that there had been 155 crashes resulting in injury or property damage in the second half of 2019, “a rate of one crash per 5,400 rides.” The new DOT rules would seek to curb crashes and injuries, making moped shares safer for riders and other vulnerable road users.
More information on the proposed moped share rules in New York City is available via StreetsBlog.