New York City should be an ideal place to ship cargo by bike. It’s dense, space is at a premium, traffic regularly ensnares delivery trucks, and customers demand near-instant delivery. Despite its advantages, pedal-powered freight delivery has remained a niche operation. A panel at a conference on last-mile freight delivery hosted by the University Transportation Research Center today explored why.
StreetsBlog lists some of the obstacles found by cargobike operators:
- Freight users who have been brainwashed in thinking that only vans can transport parcels, and “don’t trust” the capabilities of cargobikes,
- An unimaginative local authority, reluctant to pilot new schemes,
- Physical impediments for wide cargobikes,
- Lack of regulatory framework for electric bikes,
- Poor choice of cool boxes for perishable food delivery,
- Price competition from low-paid, unregulated van drivers.
- Unfavourable insurance premiums for bicycle fleet operators