New York City issued a cease and desist notice to a privately-run rival to Citi Bike on Wednesday — demanding it halt operations because it isn’t authorized, sources told The Post.
The city Department of Transportation sent the directive in a letter to JOCO, a transit start-up that began rolling out e-bikes for its new bike-share service in Manhattan this week.
“Please be advised that you do not have the authorization or permission, pursuant to a concession, franchise, permit, contract of otherwise, required for such operations,” the DOT told the company in the letter.
“Accordingly, you are hereby directed immediately to cease and desist from any such bicycle share operations.”
The company is the latest “micro-mobility” firm to attempt a Big Apple launch in the face of the city DOT’s contract with Citi Bike, which gives the company exclusive rights to operate within its service area.
But an attorney for JOCO insisted its business model is totally legal, since its e-bike docking stations are located on private property.
“JOCO’s business model, where rental transactions and trips start and end exclusively on private property – not city streets – is explicitly permitted under NY State law,” Matthew Daus told The Post in a statement.
“In our legal opinion, this is not a public bike share system, and the NYC DOT has no jurisdiction over what happens on private property,” said Daus.
Daus said the company has already launched its operations.
JOCO’s founders — who are both named Jonathan Cohen — have said hundreds of e-bikes would be made available this week at 30 privately-owned locations in Manhattan.
The founders said they hope to expand to 800 e-bikes and 100 docking locations by the fall.
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