Posted by Michael Andersen (Contributor) on April 16th, 2014 at 2:04 am
with his shop’s new vehicle.
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)
Portland’s pedal-cargo delivery scene has hit a new milestone: even Domino’s has bought a trike.
Cheap, fast and classy, cargo bikes and trikes have been in use for years from Old Town Pizza to Good Neighbor Pizzeria. Last fall, Scott Kealer did the math and decided his downtown Portland Domino’s Pizza franchise should join their ranks.
“I’ve got a corporate name on the front of the door that says ‘Domino’s,’ but it’s really my pizza shop,” said Kealer, owner of the local store on 4th Avenue near Portland State University.
“We’ve been kicking the idea around for a year or two,” said Robert Ricker, the weekday manager. “Depending on who’s pedaling, it can be faster than a car. … Maintenance has been low on it and it’s really helped out in a pinch.”
“We’ve had a lot of people excited about it,” said Dan Comey a delivery expert for the shop.
Kealer shopped around before settling on a new $700 trike from Bike Gallery. The rear storage compartment, designed for a moped, was another $100 or $150. It can hold up to six pizzas.
A few months ago, when one of the shop’s delivery workers was using the trike for all his trips, it would make 14 to 15 deliveries in one of his shifts, about the same as a car. He’s since started using a car for most trips, so the trike is now used as needed.
Unlike the delivery cars, which are owned by Kealer’s delivery workers, Kealer’s franchise owns and maintains the trike itself. Kealer saves $1.15 per delivery in compensation for his drivers, and people delivering by trike don’t have to worry about crash liability, parking tickets or wear and tear on their own cars.
It’s a similar calculation to the one made by the Portland Mercury when, last year, one of their delivery truck drivers successfully pitched them on a plan to switch to bike delivery on the inner west side.
“There’s enough traffic in downtown Portland, and I put enough cars on the road when we’re delivering pizzas,” Kealer said. “If I can take one of them off the road, it’s something.”
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.