The City of New York lawsuit against the docked electric bike-share service JOCO spread before court on Thursday, when a temporary restraining order to terminate the company’s activities was denied. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the city alleges that JOCO is operating illegally because the system of sharing all bikes within the city requires prior written approval from the Department of Transportation.
JOCO argued that it was not violating any law because its docking stations were all private property and thus beyond the control of the city. In late April, the city issued a suspension and injunction notice to JOCO, which the agency ignored.
The court on Thursday requested a temporary halt to JOCO’s activities in the city before the June 16 hearing. The co-founders of JOCO, Johnny Cohen and Jonny A. Cohen, said in a statement, “We are pleased with the results obtained in court today, and in the coming months we will expand their work to help New Yorkers with more mobility options and start enjoying the epidemic as soon as they return and the city recovers.”
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 a partnership with parking garages in the city, including Icon Parking, the largest operator of private garages in the city. The lawsuit filed this week, which includes a request to impose a civil fine of $5,000 on JOCO for each day’s violations, noted that City Bike, Light’s affiliate, is currently the only company authorized by Dot to manage bikes’ shares in five New York boroughs. The City Bike system, which was launched in 2012 and recorded more than 111 million trips, arose at the request of the department for bike-share proposals that would benefit the public with mandatory safety, level of service and quality of maintenance, as well as privacy and customer protection. “We are committed to the highest standards of protection,” Cohen told TechCrunch. “We have fleet management; we give free helmets to all our members. We’re a responsible start to make sure all our bases are covered and we’re using a very reputable bike to add to that.”