Revel rallies for electric vehicle ride share approval in NYC

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The campaign to cut back cars and other traffic in New York City is raging again, this time with the company Revel trying to get licensed as an electric vehicle ride share.

The cite environmental factors plus the cutback in taxis and other rideshare vehicles from the pandemic.

But the city is pushing back, as Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to limit ride shares to only Uber and Lyft.

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On Monday morning, the company known for its electric scooters, held a rally at City Hall Park in an ongoing battle with the Taxi and Limousine Commission to expand its clean energy transportation model.

"Right now, we are being blocked from launching our service in New York City," Revel CEO Frank Reig said. "We have already hired almost 100 drivers. They are ready to work. We have thousands of applications."

There are 50 new blue Tesla taxis ready to roll.

"The drivers we've already hired are already waiting to end their leases on gas powered vehicles," Revel Head of Driver Operations Keith Williams said. "Which they've taken out to drive for other rideshare companies."
In 2019, the TLC enacted a temporary pause on issuing any new licenses, but electric vehicles were exempt. Since then, the body has granted 400 new for-hire licenses for electric vehicles but plans to vote to end the exemption during a meeting Tuesday.

They say the change will "better align with reducing traffic congestion."

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The New York Taxi Alliance agrees, but with employee incentives like paid time off and healthcare -- not to mention it's a green rideshare alternative to Uber and Lyft -- it's a no brainer for many.

"We're helping New York getting to the climate future that we want," said Carol Antunes, with Revel Government and Community Affairs. "And we just think this hearing is backwards."

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