To ease growing traffic congestion, New York City is testing a pilot program that will move some of the goods on trucks to bicycles. UPS, Amazon and DHL are all participating in the region’s “Commercial Freight Bike Pilot Program,” which officially launched Wednesday. Riders use bicycles with large containers to deliver.
The test will take place in Manhattan, south of 60th Street. Starting in 2021, New York City plans to implement a “traffic congestion pricing” program that will charge drivers up to $14 if they want to enter Manhattan, south of 60th Street, during rush hour. The toll for commercial trucks is $25.
The New York City Department of Transportation says it aims to have 100 cargo bikes in the pilot program.
Polly Trottenberg, New York’s transportation commissioner for the Department of Transportation, said the agency encourages the use of freight bikes instead of trucks to make New York City’s freight transportation safer and greener. She also noted that the number of cyclists killed in the city by trucks this year was too high.
The Department of Transportation requires all cyclists who deliver bicycles to have identification and safety training at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour. Cyclists are allowed to use cargo bikes on city streets and, in some cases, on sidewalks, but must store them in the company at night.
UPS is also participating in a similar pilot program in Seattle, which began in October 2018. In Seattle, cyclists use pedals to power e-bikes to deliver packages.
DHL ships packages during the so-called “Cubicycle” period in Europe and claims to replace traditional delivery vehicles.