Grubhub and shared e-bike platform Joco have teamed up to create space for food delivery workers to rest and recharge in New York City.
The initiative kicked off with the debut of the “Joco Concierge Sponsored by Grubhub” a pitstop for bikers in SoHo. The facility offers battery swapping, bike rentals, complimentary delivery gear, phone charging stations, water, lounge chairs and bathrooms.
“When it comes to our delivery partners, of course, safety is absolutely key, and that’s why this hub from Grubhub and Joco combines elements like safe battery exchange with amenities that help riders rest and recharge,” said Amy Perlik Healy, vice president of government relations at Grubhub.
“This is an evolving effort for us, and Grubhub is continually working with important partners like Joco as well as city leaders to explore new ways to support delivery workers and communities across New York City.”
Grubhub riders also gain access to 55 existing Joco hubs for safe e-bike storage, battery exchange and delivery rider gear. These charging hubs are spread across Manhattan and Queens, with plans to add more locations soon.
It’s all part of a larger program announced in April by the delivery company, that aims to make e-bikes more accessible and safe for delivery workers. The program gave 500 delivery partners free access to more than a thousand safety-certified e-bikes. Grubhub also donated $100,000 to the FDNY Foundation to power e-bike safety education. Delivery giant DoorDash also announced the same.
E-bike safety has been a topic of concern for New Yorkers amid lithium-ion battery-related fires. Last year, there were over 200 fires caused by these batteries, resulting in fatalities, according to the city. The SoHo hub features fireproof machines, that both hold and charge batteries.
Rider rest stop saga
NYC is home to over 65,000 delivery workers, many which complete deliveries by bike in the congested city.
Delivery workers and advocates continue to push for rest stop availability, with lack of public bathroom access cited as a major issue.
As of now, Grubhub’s SoHo stop is one of the few, if not only, of its kind in the city. However, it is only available to Grubhub riders or those that use Joco e-bike credits.
Chick-fil-A’s short-lived “Brake Room” for all delivery workers shuttered in April, despite positive feedback from riders. Meanwhile, NYC pledged last year to build two charging station rest stops near City Hall and the Upper West Side by repurposing unused newsstands. But the move has yet to become reality as proposals have faced opposition, regarding congestion and safety.