DHL, an international express shipping company, is rolling out its Cubicycle in New York City, participating in a pilot program to test the use of cargo bikes to alleviate traffic congestion as well as lessen air and noise pollution in the city’s crowded streets. Deploying the Cubicycle in Manhattan fits in with DHL’s environmental targets which include achieving net zero emissions from transport activities by 2050 and performing at least 70 percent of pick-ups and deliveries with green energy solutions such as electric vehicles and bikes by 2025.
”Cargo bicycles will play an important role in hitting our environmental targets. The DHL Cubicycle has enjoyed great success in Europe, with each bicycle deployed taking at least one conventional delivery van off the road, helping to relieve congestion and increasing our service levels,” said Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express Americas. “We are grateful to the City of New York for enabling this pilot and hope to see the DHL Cubicycle have a similar positive impact on the city’s transport network.”
The pilot program announced by New York City encourages all freight companies to use cargo bikes on city streets during an initial six-month trial period. The initial participants are DHL, Amazon and UPS. As many as 100 bikes will be deployed in Manhattan’s Central Business District south of 60th Street. The City’s Department of Transportation will collect information about speed, parking, use of bike lanes and size of the bikes to determine if they are an efficient option to help relieve traffic congestion.
“DOT is excited to announce this pilot to make freight deliveries in NYC safer and greener by encouraging the use of electric cargo bikes instead of trucks,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “With trucks involved in a disproportionately high number of cyclist fatalities in New York City this year, we are especially interested in the safety benefits this pilot can bring to our streets. We thank DHL, not only for its participation in this pilot, but also for its leadership in promoting cargo bike delivery. We hope the company can serve as an example to other freight companies to join and help us make this pilot a success.”
The Cubicycle has several features that make it attractive for delivery operations in heavy traffic areas such as a reclining seat that provides greater comfort, safety and speed for the courier, and electric pedal assistance for additional speed and support in climbing hills. The removable containers are secure, waterproof and offer a large capacity for packages but are low enough to the ground so as to not impair the view of other cyclists on the road. They can be equipped with GPS transmitters to facilitate real-time shipment tracking and monitoring for security purposes. The bikes are also self-powered through the use of solar panels. By replacing a conventional delivery vehicle, each deployed Cubicycle is expected to reduce carbon emissions by up to eight metric tons per year. The bikes reduce the use of energy by up to 90 percent compared to electric vans and even more when compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines.
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