*Photos by Ryan Hashagen
Welcome to our coverage of cargo bikes. From the first shipment of bakfiets to arrive on U.S. soil, to the latest trends in business and designs, we’ve covered cargo bikes since the beginning. Scroll down to browse our stories. (If you have a cargo bike story idea, please get in touch.)
In a partnership with the City of Seattle and University of Washington, delivery giant UPS announced today they will use pedal-assist, electric cargo bikes to make deliveries around Pike Place Market and other parts of downtown.
The best part about this news? The bikes being used in this pilot program come from Portland-based company Truck Trike.
Here’s more about the delivery program from a UPS press release:
In an effort to address growing traffic congestion and air quality concerns, UPS and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan today announced the deployment of an innovative downtown delivery pilot project using pedal-assist cargo eBikes and customized, modular trailers. The cargo eBikes will operate in the historic Pike Place Market and downtown Seattle area on sidewalks and in designated bike lanes.
When you do business in a city, electric cargo bikes are often a much better solution for deliveries and service calls than cars or trucks. There are many companies in Portland that understand this fact, and two of them recently added new bikes to their fleet.
Just over a decade after launching as “the Portland-made bakfiets”, the owners behind Metrofiets have decided it’s time to move on.
When I saw a KGW report this morning about home delivery of recreational marijuana, my first thought was: “I wonder if they could that by bike?”
After all, marijuana is big business in Portland and local companies deliver all sorts of things by bike. With companies like B-Line Urban Delivery, Go Box (pictured above), and Portland Pedal Power, Portland is on the cutting edge of using bicycles for delivery.
Marijuana by bike in Portland should be a no-brainer. At least that’s what I thought.
My curiousity led me to call Aleeya Kim, owner of La Cannaisseur in Linnton (whose shop was profiled in the KGW story). I asked Kim about bike delivery and she referred me to the official Oregon Liquor Control Commission rules they have to follow in order to keep their license.
The first rules I found were temporary rules adopted in October 2015. Those rules didn’t include any specific language that would prevent the use of a bicycle for marijuana delivery. That’s because whenever the language referred to the delivery vehicle, it didn’t include the word “motor.” And in Oregon law, “When the term ‘vehicle’ is used the term shall be deemed to be applicable to bicycles.”
Global package delivery juggernaut UPS has chosen Portland to debut its first electric-assist trike in the U.S.
In a statement released today, UPS said, “The deployment of the eBike is part of UPS’s ongoing commitment to reduce carbon emissions as city populations and e-commerce grow, and traffic, noise and air quality challenges continue to rise.”
Using trikes and other small, pedal-powered vehicles to deliver cargo in dense urban areas is relatively common in Europe. The European Cyclists’ Federation (an EU-funded non-profit) says 25 percent of all goods could potentially be delivered bicycles. That number rises to 50 percent when just considering lightweight cargo.
Bike-powered business, urban freight delivery and local food production have come together in a very exciting way in Portland.
Today two local companies that have built strong niches hauling cargo with pedal power — B-Line and SoupCycle — announced they’ve joined forces. From now on B-Line’s electric-assist cargo trikes will distribute meals for SoupCycle, a company with over 600 customers throughout Portland.
It’s an intriguing collaboration that shows the maturity of Portland’s bike business ecosystem and it comes just days after the University of Washington debuted a new “Urban Freight Lab” in partnership with major retailers and shipping companies with an aim to make downtown deliveries more efficient and friendlier for humans and the environment.
For SoupCycle and B-Line, the move allows both of them to do more of what they do best.
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.
Welcome to “Bikes at Work,” our ocassional series that looks into the people and companies that use bicycles to get work done.[Read more…]