Whether or not the City of Portland succeeds in its bid for a $40 million “Smart City” grant to advance a collection of ideas about digitally connected transportation, the private sector is already leaping forward on similar lines.
In Oregon’s epic battle of nerds versus jocks, the nerds are winning.
The gearheads, the nurses and the bureaucrats are on their tail, though.
With six weekdays left in the BTA’s annual Bike Commute Challenge, Intel employees have logged 16,117 miles of biking to lead the contest in total travel, while Nike employees are in second place across the region with 14,529.
Close behind are Daimler Trucks North America (13,880 miles), Oregon Health and Science University (13,679) and the City of Portland (13,348).
When you run the numbers, human-powered machines often make good sense on city streets. Leave it to the logistics experts at Daimler Trucks North America to calculate that they make good sense on the floor of a truck factory, too.
At Daimler’s Western Star truck plant on North Portland’s Swan Island, utility trikes are taking over for electric carts in moving truck parts to the manufacturing line. Workers at the plant are putting 18 of the trikes to use. They are Torker HD models and have a cargo capacity of 300 pounds. The bikes were purchased from and assembled by Crank Bicycles in southeast Portland, which customized the gears for the plant’s 5 mph speed limit.
of a bike shelter at Daimler Trucks HQ
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Daimler Trucks North America, a commercial truck manufacturer based on Swan Island, celebrated a decidedly non-motorized achievement this morning: They opened a bike parking shelter near the main entrance of their corporate headquarters.
The new shelter can fit up to 53 bicycles in a space previously used to park just five cars. Daimler project manager Rich Wipf said demand for bike parking from Daimler’s 3,000 Swan Island employees (1,500 at corporate HQ) has increased significantly in recent years. “Some of our employees remember when just one rack was enough. Now we’ve got racks near all the entrances and they’re all filling up.”
Erik Weeman, a mechanical engineer, said there were only “a handful” of riders when he started working at Daimler two years ago. Now the existing bike racks quickly fill up in the morning. “Unless you get here early, your bike would be left out in the rain if you could even find a spot.”