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OjO and Revel: More electric scooters, mopeds coming to Austin

Revel, a shared electric vehicle company, launched a fleet of electric, street-legal mopeds in Austin on Monday.

AUSTIN, Texas — Revel Mopeds feature a Vespa-style design with a seat. As of Monday, Revel is available to rent for licensed drivers over the age of 21 in the Austin area who pass an initial safe driving record background check. 

Once users are approved, they can find, reserve and unlock the Revel of their choice via the Revel mobile app. Each Revel comes with two U.S. Department of Transportation-certified helmets and can carry up to two riders. 

Revels are limited to local streets and are capped at a speed of 30 miles per hour. Rides cost $1 per person to start, followed by $0.25 per minute to ride and $0.10 per minute while parked. The background check requires a one-time fee of $19.

"Revel is not a kick scooter," Revel COO Paul Suhey said. "It is a full electric-motor vehicle that rides and parks in the street and not on sidewalks and has a license plate."

Revel drivers are prohibited from using bike lanes, sidewalks or trails and are expected to use normal vehicle travel lanes and follow all Texas traffic laws. 

Revel offers free driving lessons seven days a week for those interested in riding or safety instruction.

At the same time, OjO Electric has announced the expansion of its electric rideshare scooter service in Austin and Dallas, increasing its fleet size from 100 to 500 in the cities.

The move comes just days before Revel launched in Austin.

The OjO scooters feature a cushioned seat, swappable 48-volt battery and top speeds of 20 mph. The scooters are technically considered bikes, allowing them to use the cities' bike lanes.

OjO's partnerships with Austin Commuter Scooter – the operator of the Austin B-cycle system – and Shift Transit in Dallas aim to provide easy access to consumers, the company said.

The partnerships will also provide oversight by local teams for scooter deployment, balancing, service and repair as well as 24/7 customer service lines for users.

OjO head of sales and partnerships Matt Tolan said the company is excited to bring more scooters to the Austin and Dallas areas.

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“It is a key part of our strategy to collaborate with local government officials, such as the Austin Transportation Department’s Mobility Group and the Dallas Department of Transportation, to allow us to better understand local market needs and be able to provide sustainable mobility solutions that service the public's transportation needs while also reducing carbon emissions and congestion,” Tolan said.

OjO said its goal is to reduce cars on the road and carbon emissions. It said it is committed to working with local governments to ensure the protection of the public's right-of-way.

Back in January, Austin was the first launch market for the OjO scooters.

WATCH: Homeless man cashes in on Austin scooter craze

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