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New on-demand transportation popping up in cities: electric mopeds

Posted at 2:23 PM, Aug 15, 2019

New transportation options are showing up in cities across the country, including shareable bikes, electric scooters, and now mopeds are even starting to compete for street space.

However, with all these new electronic transportation options there are safety concerns.

Starting this weekend, 400 electric mopeds will be hitting the streets of Washington, D.C. One thousand of the mopeds are already available for rent in New York City.

The company behind these electric mopeds, Revel, plans to expand to other cities.

“The benefit is really simple. The way you have to think about it: this is almost always at least half the cost of Uber and Lyft and twice as much fun,” says Paul Suhey with Revel.

They're part of a growing number of transportation options people can rent by using their cell phone app. Most major cities already have electric scooters and bicycles.

Last year in the U.S., people took 84 million trips on bikes and scooters, according to National Association of City Transportation officials. However, the influx of rides is causing safety concerns, with some concerned the vehicles will add to the congestion on the road.

“If you're having to be aware of either a cyclist, a scooter rider, now a moped rider, who may go in between cars, you have to be careful and watch out for each other as you're using these different modes of operations,” says Jeanette Tejeda de Gomez with AAA.

She says research shows moped riders are more likely to be injured or die than those walking, biking or driving a car.

However, Revel says helmets are included with each rental, riders have to be at least 21, have a driver's license and they screen the rider's driving record.

“From our first couple months operating in New York, in over 300,000 rides, 99.99 percent have happened without incident, and we understand that safety record doesn't happen by accident,” Suhey says.

Whether or not you’re ready to see these mopeds in your city, there’s no doubt on-demand transportation is now a driving force for new ways to get around.