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City of Boston explores the use of e-cargo bikes

Mayor Martin Walsh has released a request for information to find out how such bikes could fit into Boston’s delivery landscape and identify current obstacles to adoption by private businesses.

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Cargo e-bikes offer a sustainable and green delivery method
Cargo e-bikes offer a sustainable and green delivery method

The City of Boston has released a request for information (RFI) for using electric cargo bikes (e-cargo bikes) for delivery.

 

It said in a statement that it wants to understand how e-cargo bikes could fit into Boston’s delivery landscape and identify current obstacles to adoption by private businesses, as well as other opportunities to green last-mile deliveries.

 

Online delivery surge

 

Mayor Martin Walsh is committed to make Boston carbon neutral by 2050 and has already set a goal to increase the number of shared bikes. Online deliveries over the past 10 years in Boston’s metro region have surged, contributing to congestion and air pollution and many more people have turned to such services in the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Electric cargo bikes are light electric vehicles (LEVs) that can be used for both point-to-point and last-mile deliveries, without contributing to air or noise pollution.

 

The RFI will also give the City a picture of which organisations (private business, logistics solution providers, supply chain experts, e-cargo bike providers) may already be experimenting with or thinking about e-cargo bike deployment in the Boston area, or who may have an interest in partnering or supporting potential pilots.

The surge in online deliveries over the past 10 years in Boston’s metro region has contributed to congestion and air pollution

While specific contracts are outside the scope of this solicitation, the City of Boston hopes to gain a comprehensive understanding of options currently available.

 

This RFI is also seeking recommendations on how the City can support the electric cargo bike last-mile delivery network. Recommendations should include partnership opportunities, current barrier analysis, current demand analysis, density considerations, and impact analysis. It said all recommendations should strive for a sustainable, long-term solution.

 

In May, the City of Miami announced it was teaming up with DHL Express and Reef Technology to launch a pilot programme using low-power electric-assist e-cargo cycles for freight deliveries. The three-wheeled cycles, equipped with an accompanying cargo container, can transport up to 400 pounds or 60 cubic feet in volume.

 

The response deadline is Monday, 17 August 2019, at 5pm and the RFI can be viewed here.

 

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