GrubHub is launching a pilot program with New York City-based e-bike rental platform Jocko to give at least 500 gig distribution workers access to e-bike service.
Making sure delivery workers have access to high-quality e-bikes has been a big talking point in NYC after several battery fires. GrubHub’s partnership with Jocko comes after the transmission platform made a $100,000 grant to the FDNY Foundation to spread awareness and safe practices for using lithium-ion batteries.
Grubhub is actively working to establish a battery recycling program to take in uncertified e-bikes, the company said.
“They are important to thousands of communities and businesses, including GrubHub’s, and helping to ensure their safety — and the safety of all New Yorkers — is a top priority,” he said. Amy Perlick Healy, Grubhub’s vice president of government relations, said in a statement. “These new partnerships are an extension of our ongoing work to address the safe use of e-bikes and the handling of batteries by supply partners, and we will explore any reasonable means to prevent future tragic fires.”
Grubhub’s pilot with Jocko will begin in mid-June, according to the companies. Certain GrubHub riders earn Joco Credits that they can use for part-day, daily or weekly e-bike rentals. Employees will have access to Joco’s 55 stations and 1,000 bikes across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
Grub also plans to sponsor a Jocko drop-off center for delivery workers in midtown Manhattan, where they can relax, use the bathroom, charge their phones, swap out dead bikes for fully charged batteries and reach delivery riders.
Joko said the charging cabinets are fireproof and tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. The batteries are certified to IEC 62133 standards, the company said.
Jocko debuts in NYC in 2021 as a City Bike competitor. The startup tried to circumvent Lyft-owned City Bike’s exclusive vendor agreement with the Department of Transportation by placing it in private parking lots instead of on public property. However, Lyft sued the fledgling company, so Jocko decided to target gig economy workers.
Jocko founder Jonathan Cohen said the initial pilot will last six months, hopefully.
“We want to help the delivery community as much as possible, and we want to make sure delivery drivers can easily find safe vehicles,” Cohen told TechCrunch.