WASHINGTON — Starting this weekend, you can hop on a moped to get around town with the click of a button.
NYC-based company, Revel, is part of a pilot program in DC that will rent out mopeds the same way you can get a dockless scooter - through an app - but for a slightly higher startup fee.
According to the company’s website, there is a one-time $19 fee to sign up with Revel after you download the app, to verify your identity and safe driving record.
Once you’re approved, you can hop on and go. Revel provides two helmets with every ride and insurance. It’s $0.25 a minute to ride, and $0.10 a minute to pause it.
The mopeds are only in the District as part of a four-month trial, as the city searches for different options to clear up congestion.
"This demonstration period will allow the District to evaluate how mopeds will fit in our transportation network," DDOT Director Jeff Marootian said earlier this August. "This is another opportunity for us to reduce dependence on single occupancy vehicles and expand the sustainable transportation options we offer to residents and visitors."
DDOT administers multiple shared vehicle permit programs including cars, electric bicycles and scooters.
The mopeds are not allowed on sidewalks, and riders will have to have a valid driver’s license and wear a helmet. According to Revel’s website, the mopeds will only go a max speed of 30 mph and you’re not allowed on highways or major bridges. When you park the scooter at the end of your ride, you’ll need to make sure it will be parked legally for the next 24 hours – not just until the next morning.
Revel’s operating hours for D.C. will be 5 a.m. until 12 a.m. and you also won’t be allowed to leave the designated service area.
The company doing the pilot program in D.C. launched last summer in NYC. Here in the nation's capital, they will operate 400 mopeds, according to their retweets.
Earlier this week, some D.C. residents with disabilities told WUSA9 they were worried about the mopeds making it harder for them to get around.
"When I heard the news … they were gonna start putting mopeds out it was like -- 'Oh God. What else are they gonna do?' Because that just makes it that much worse," Debbie Alves, who uses a walker to get around her Cleveland Park neighborhood said. "It's very frustrating because for me it's not -- walking is extremely difficult because of the medical condition I have.”
Another woman, Deborah Barnes, who uses a wheelchair and has low vision, said currently the dockless scooters parked on sidewalks force her to go out of her way.
"A lot of times the sidewalks are narrow and there's a scooter blocking me which means that I have to go all the way back to the beginning of the block, cross the street at the curb cut, and then come back down on the other side," Barnes said. “I had a nightmare about … mopeds. It's just another barrier."