February 28, 2012 | 2:31 PM | By Cassandra Profita
In Portland: Can Freight Bikes Replace Trucks?
Portland’s B-Line delivery service is pedaling past bicycle couriers into a world where bikes can actually replace urban truck and van deliveries.
The company launched in 2009 with two electric-assisted “freight bikes” that can each deliver 700 pounds of goods in a 45-square-foot trailer. The fleet has since tripled in size to six trikes making an average of 10 routes a day.
Seven hundred pounds might not be a lot for a semi or a box truck, but in the world of bicycle delivery, it’s huge. Most cargo bikes max out at 100- or 200-pound deliveries.
“To my knowledge, nobody in the world is doing the volume of delivery by bikes that we’re doing,” said company co-founder Franklin Jones.
The trikes offer unique advantages over traditional truck deliveries – not only in reducing environmental impacts but also in skirting bridge traffic and finding parking (the sidewalk in front of a downtown building is fair game for trikes).
“When you have rush hour traffic backed up on the Burnside Bridge, we’re riding right by,” Jones said. (more…)