Soon after New York City filed a lawsuit and restraining order against its newest e-bike entrant JOCO, a court ruling on Thursday disagreed with the city’s decision, allowing the bike-share company to continue its services.
According to a lawsuit filed by the city, officials claim that JOCO is operating illegally because all bike-sharing systems within the city require prior written authorization from the Department of Transportation. JOCO has argued that it’s not violating any laws since its docking stations are all on private property and thus outside the jurisdiction of the city’s regulation. In late April, the city issued a cease-and-desist notice to JOCO.
Meanwhile, the court stepped in and granted the company access to service until the next hearing, which is scheduled for June 16th. “We are pleased with the result in court today, and in the months ahead we will be expanding our operations to help New Yorkers with more mobility options as they return to work and begin to again enjoy the city as it re-opens and recovers from the pandemic,” said the co-founders of JOCO, Johnny Cohen and Jonny A. Cohen, in a statement.
The lawsuit filed this week, which includes a request to impose a civil penalty against JOCO of $5,000 for every day a violation occurs, specifies that Citi Bike, a subsidiary of Lyft, is the only company presently authorized by the DOT to operate a bike share in any of New York’s five boroughs.
As a start, JOCO launched 300 e-bikes at 30 stations around Manhattan in April, and said it plans to nearly triple that number by June. The company has partnerships with parking garages in the city, including the iconic Icon Parking, the city’s largest operator of private garages.