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UPS rolls out e-bike delivery pilot in Seattle

Published October 29, 2018

SEATTLE (BRAIN) — UPS and the Seattle Department of Transportation have introduced a delivery pilot project in the city's downtown and historic Pike Place Market using pedal-assist cargo e-bikes with with modular trailers.

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UPS said the cargo e-bikes will be able to make deliveries to areas conventional delivery trucks can't access directly and currently require that trucks be parked on the periphery for long periods. "This will reduce congestion in these areas by reducing truck dwell time, instances of double parking and other unintended consequences associated with downtown deliveries," the company stated in a release.

The program is deploying Truck Trikes from Portland, Oregon-based Silver Eagle Manufacturing. The detachable boxes on the bikes' trailers have a capacity of 95 cubic feet and can hold up to 400 pounds.

"While we have launched cycle logistic projects in other cities, this is the first one designed to meet a variety of urban challenges," said Scott Phillippi, UPS's senior director of maintenance and engineering, international operations. "The modular boxes and trailer allow us to expand our delivery capabilities and meet the unique needs of our Seattle customers. It's exciting to return to our roots — UPS started in Seattle in 1907 as a bicycle messenger company, We're looking forward to being able to offer these customizable urban delivery solutions to other cities nationwide."

UPS and the University of Washington's Urban Freight Lab will evaluate the program over the next year. UPS will share data and analyses from the pilot for assessment against two of the lab's key objectives: improving first delivery attempts and reducing dwell time. If the program is successful, UPS will expand the initial coverage area (see accompanying map) and consider additional cargo e-bike delivery in other parts of the city.

"Seattle has always been the city that invents the future, and now we are partnering with one of our hometown companies to help drive innovations in transportation," Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said. "As Seattle grows and public and private megaprojects limit capacity on our downtown streets, this pilot will help us better understand how we can ensure the delivery of goods while making space on our streets for transit, bikes and pedestrians. We are eager to learn how pilots like these can help build a city of the future with fewer cars, more transit and less carbon pollution."

Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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