Move over to Citi Bike, there’s a new docked, shared bike service in town — only this one is all-electric. Next week, JOCO will be the first shared operator in New York City to launch a network of e-bike stations on private property for public use.
The service, powered by shared mobility platform Vulog, will start with 30 stations and 300 e-bikes located around Manhattan, expanding to 100 stations and 1,000 bikes by June. This is not the first new shared operator to hit the streets of New York this year. Last week, the city announced the winning companies of the e-scooter pilot in the Bronx. But while Bird, Lime, and Veo are restricted to operating in a section of the Bronx, far from any Citi Bike territory, JOCO is under no such constraints.
The company’s bikes will initially be stationed at parking garages around the city, including at Icon Parking garages, the city’s largest parking operators, but the company says it hopes to expand to residential and commercial buildings in the near future. The company essentially pays landlords to provide this amenity, while absolving them from having to operate or maintain the e-bikes.
“What differentiates us from Citi Bike is, first of all, our bikes are 100% electric, 100% premium,” co-founder Jonathan “Johnny,” Cohen from New York said. (The two co-founders are both named Johnathan Cohen — one is from New York, the other from London. JOCO…get it?). “You can reserve our bikes in advance, and as we’re on private property, there is hand sanitizer at our stations, the bikes aren’t getting rained on every night, they’re a bit cleaner and easier to access.”
Citi Bike’s fleet is about 30% electric. To charge the e-bikes, the Lyft-owned company must manually take the drained vehicles from their stations to charge them, whereas JOCO’s vehicles are charged at the stations. Like Citi Bike, each e-bike can last for about 30 miles on a charge.