Department of Transportation

Moped Shares Are Here: Short-Term Rentals Spotted on DC Streets

D.C. has no shortage of short-term transportation options, from bikes to cars to scooters — and now, mopeds.

Dozens of Revel electric mopeds rolled out on D.C. streets Friday as part of a four-month pilot program.

Would-be riders must first download the Revel app and pay a $19 registration fee. The company will check each user's driving record before he or she can use the app to find and rent the nearest moped. Riders will pay for the mopeds by the minute.

Revel is already operating in New York. Co-founder Paul Suhey said he wanted to bring the moped trend to the U.S. after often seeing them overseas.

"We're super excited to be here," Suhey said. "This is a really fun, easy and convenient way to get around."

Each moped comes with a helmet for the driver and another for a passenger.

As part of the registration process, a user must submit an image of their driver's license. Anyone with a suspended license, any past DUIs or multiple reckless speeding tickets will not be allowed to ride, Suhey said. In addition, riders must be at least 21.

In D.C., mopeds are only allowed on streets, not sidewalks or bike lanes. 

Revel also advises users to perform a quick safety inspection of the moped before they start riding.

The pilot program is meant to allow the District to evaluate how mopeds will fit in with the rest of D.C.'s transportation network, DDOT Director Jeff Marootian said in a statement.

Companies that want to participate in the pilot program must meet the terms and conditions of a new Public Right of Way Occupancy Permit. Among the requirements, they must mandate that riders wear helmets and have valid driver's licenses. Companies that qualify will be allowed to have up to 400 vehicles during the demonstration period.

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