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The Launch of E-Cargo Bike Delivery Pilot Program Boston Delivers

The Launch of E-Cargo Bike Delivery Pilot Program Boston Delivers
The Launch of E-Cargo Bike Delivery Pilot Program Boston Delivers
August 31, 2023   //   

By Tiana May

The Mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu, and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) have announced the launch of an e-cargo bike delivery pilot program: Boston Delivers.

This service will deliver goods to and from local businesses in Allston and the surrounding area using e-cargo bikes instead of motor vehicles.

The program will launch in mid-September and will run for 18 months.

It aims to support local businesses, reduce pollution, improve street safety, and ease the traffic congestion caused by the expansion of delivery services in recent years.

Mayor Michelle Wu said: “The way our small businesses and residents use our city’s curbs has changed over the last few years, and we’re launching Boston Delivers to explore how to make our streets flow more smoothly and safely for everyone. This bike delivery pilot will support restaurants with an affordable, green, and convenient delivery option while reducing congestion on our streets.”

The rise in demand for delivery services following the pandemic has increased congestion outside local businesses and has resulted in a rise in drivers parking in bus, bike and vehicle travel lanes, which compromises mobility and safety.

Boston Delivers consequently aims to improve street safety by reducing the size, speed and environmental impacts of delivery vehicles.

To support this objective, the City will subsidize delivery costs for up to eight businesses taking part in this program.

The trial will be carried out in partnership with Net Zero Logistics who will provide and manage the fleet of e-cargo bikes and the related equipment. Net Zero Logistics will also make the deliveries and manage the logistics of this service.

Mark Chiusano, CEO of Net Zero Logistics said: “As a company, we hope to make a difference by increasing awareness of carbonless deliveries and helping local businesses offer sustainable delivery options. We’ve been working hard finding solutions with executing the final 50 feet of urban delivery, and we are thrilled to implement our knowledge and expertise here in Massachusetts by partnering with The City of Boston and Boston Delivers.”

Boston Delivers will serve as a case study for The Urban Freight Lab at The University of Washington to help inform efforts to deploy e-cargo bikes for last mile deliveries.

This pilot program has several key learning objectives:

  • Identify the policies and regulations that need to change to enable e-cargo bike delivery in the City of Boston
  • Test infrastructure changes to accommodate e-cargo bike delivery, including to e-cargo bike delivery zones, staging and sorting areas and parcel lockers
  • Measure the benefits of e-cargo bike delivery, including its impact on environmental, safety and economic metrics
  • Understand the costs and feasibility of e-cargo bike delivery for different types of businesses
  • Communicate to delivery service providers that the City of Boston is ready to utilize e-cargo bikes