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In the city’s latest moped race, battery-powered Revel has revved ahead across the finish line —  as competitor Lime quietly ends its ride sharing program in Manhattan less than a year after it began. 

A Lime Moped abandoned on 11th Avenue. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The eclectic transportation company, based out of California, launched last spring as a cheaper alternative to the omnipresent blue Revel Vespa-style rental mopeds. Their entré into the shareable transit failed to lap their competitor, however, as Revel’s larger fleet eclipsed Lime’s services.

Lime’s communication lead Jacob Tugendrajch told amNewYork Metro in an email that the company was instead pivoting its focus: “We recently made the decision to wind down our moped program in New York City and focus entirely on the city’s e-scooter pilot program,” said Tugendrajch. 

Lime had also promised a safer ride than Brooklyn-based Revel, which has seen several high-profile rider deaths and one pedestrian fatality since its launch in 2018. Lime’s company stated, “In addition to providing a suite of multi-modal options, Lime’s key differentiator will be its approach to safety. We recognize that safety must come first, especially with a heavier, faster vehicle. We’ve seen where others have fallen short and have invested heavily in our approach to safety,” adding that their fleet included extended training options and helmet sensors to encourage riders to wear protective headgear. 

Regardless of protections in place, both Lime and Revel mopeds have been shown to be significantly more dangerous than riding a standard bicycle, prompting city officials to explore potential regulations to prevent further accidents. According to the New York Post, former Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told the City Council that “There’s no escaping the fact that moped share is in a different risk category than bike share,” citing that there were 1.38  moped deaths per million rides and that there have been 69 times as many deaths in their 4 year stint than in Citi Bike’s 7 year tenure. 

Lime Moped press launch in New York. Photo: Lime

It’s a significant statistic, as cycling through New York has proven to be fraught with risk in itself, thanks to inconsistent city bike lanes, double parking, and dangerous drivers. According to the NYC Crash Mapper data collection service, there have been 60 cyclist injuries and one cyclist fatality in 2022 alone. For now, it seems that West Siders are still willing to risk it, with Citi Bike usage up over the last year. After all, in subway-starved Hell’s Kitchen, the moped or the bicycle may still be the fastest way to get around the neighborhood — or at least faster than the M11. Remember to wear a helmet! 

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1 Comment

  1. This innovative program showed early promise. We must be open to a reimagining of our dangerous streets. I take comfort in the knowledge that this period of innovation has just begun!

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