NEW YORK, NY —JOCO, an electronic bike-rental service, has announced it will launch in New York City next week. The company will operate a fleet of e-bikes that will be available at docking stations, all of which will be on private property.
JOCO’s founders say its stations initially will be based in parking garages, but eventually will be found in office buildings, hotels and apartment buildings, and therefore not take up space on streets and sidewalks. JOCO will pay landlords to house the stations, but the company will manage the fleet.
Additionally, JOCO’s founders say their business model is better for the environment because their bikes will charge right at the docking stations. Citi Bike’s e-bikes must be picked up by a truck, taken to a charging location and then returned, or have their battery exchanged – in both cases, a gas-burning vehicle is part of the process.
“With JOCO, we are looking to create the most sustainable, efficient and enjoyable way to get across cities, beginning with New York City,” Jonathan Cohen, CEO at JOCO said in a release.
Pricing between JOCO and Citi Bike will differ slightly, according to Tech Crunch. It will cost JOCO customers $1 to unlock the bike, and 25 cents per minute to ride. A Citi Bike rider must pay $3.50 to unlock and 18 cents per minute to ride. Both services offer monthly and annual memberships.
Monica Wejman, managing director for Vulog, creator of the technology platform JOCO will use to manage its rental business and track its e-bikes, told Tech Crunch that the new service is an example of the growing popularity of the bike-rental business.
“Citi Bike has been around since 2013 and has done a tremendous job at driving cycling adoption on the streets of NYC,” Wejman said. “And now you have JOCO entering this space, powered by Vulog, really there to complement Citi Bike and satisfy what we’re seeing as a significant increase in demand for access to e-bikes.”