This is what freight delivery looks like in Portland (video)

Big trucks are bad for dense urban areas. They spew toxic exhaust that poisons our bodies and our environment, they take up precious space, and they far too often kill people due to their inherently unsafe design features. We should do whatever we can to limit their presence.

Fortunately there are other options. Like pedal and battery-powered cargo bikes.


Yesterday I happened upon a three-wheeled cargo trike at work on Southeast 2nd and Pine. It was a vehicle owned by Portland-based B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery.

B-Line employee Anthony Dryer was making deliveries for Marukin Ramen, a Japanese restaurant with a small outlet in Pine Street Market. The back of his trike was full of food prepared in the kitchen of Marukin’s flagship location less than a mile away (just across the Willamette River). Dryer, who also works as a mechanic on the bikes when he’s not riding them, said his load was about 300 pounds. He makes about 15-20 similar deliveries on an average day — to B-Line’s many local customers. The company also makes money by promoting brands and displaying advertisements on the side of the trikes.

As Portland continues to grow at a rapid pace and our streets fill with people who are not encased in a protective shell, B-Line and similar companies like Portland Pedal Power, are well-positioned to be the future stars of our local freight economy. We should do everything we can to help them flourish.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.

Switch to Desktop View with Comments