Mayor: DOT Disallowed JOCO E-Bikes Because the Company did not Comply with City’s Safety Rules
By Yehudit Garmaise
Mayor Bill de Blasio has many times imagined a futuristic city in which residents ditch their cars and instead choose to bike, walk, take public transportation, so wouldn’t more competition for bike-sharing services and other forms of “micro-mobility” better create the mayor’s exciting vision?
As long as those micro-mobility companies comply with New York City health and safety regulations, Mayor de Blasio told BoroPark24 this morning.
Last week, when JOCO was set to make hundreds of e-bikes available at 30 locations in New York City last week, the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) demanded that the new company halt its operations because it is not authorized by the city.
JOCO could potentially bring healthy competition by way of lower prices and docking stations at which bikes automatically recharge, unlike the DOT-approved Citi Bike’s e-bikes, which require workers to replace and recharging batteries each night.
“In principle,” the mayor agreed that more micro-mobility businesses in the city would be better, “but there are still rules.
There is a really simple way to do things, Mayor de Blasio said.
“If any new service wants to come into New York City, go and talk to the people who regulate that industry for the city government and figure out the right way to do it,” the mayor explained.
Conformity to industry safety regulations is the issue, said the mayor, who perhaps has safety in the front of his mind after three New Yorkers passed away last summer in crashes on Revel e-scooters, which has since increased their safety protocols, including mandatory safety tests and selfies that prove riders are wearing helmets. Last Friday, Lime, a new rival moped e-service that launched in the city, also has similar safety requirements.
“We've seen this with for-hire vehicles, here and around the country, where they tried to just set up shop without any effort to you know, align to the health and safety rules in New York City and the laws,” the mayor said. “I mean, we don't accept that.
“Obviously, if someone tries to just come in and make a profit and evade the law, that's not going to work.
Mayor de Blasio, who said that he has spoken about e-bike businesses to many other mayors, who he said “all express the same frustration because “these are not folks doing this for charity, they're doing it for profit, and they're trying to do something for profit without doing what every other industry does, which is following the law.
“So, we welcome more options so long as people follow the law.”
Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.
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