So here is the windy-day photo my 86-year-old dad took of me two weeks ago standing in front of something like 100 Citibikes in New York City between the two historic original buildings of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (now known as MetLife), where I walked from Penn Station with him (it was his old commute to work, and he wanted to replicate what was his 35-year daily routine one more time as the final item on his bucket list*). But those aren’t the 100 new bikes soon to be seen on my beloved home city’s streets about which I’m most excited today.
Turns out New York City (where Citibike is the most-used bikeshare system in the USA, with a ridership record of over 90,000 riders in a single day this past September and an 11% ridership increase 2019 over 2018) just announced it will allow Amazon, DHL, and UPS to park up to a total of 100 commercial cargo bikes on specific wide sidewalks for deliveries in the hopes of replacing each company’s current package delivery trucks.
This is huge. Bravo, New York City (and maybe you’ll stop confiscating the food delivery folks’ ebikes now?) and to the companies involved, especially UPS, which already operates cargo delivery bikes in over 30 cities worldwide (and is where I worked on staff in the Corporate Communications department at its global headquarters in metro Atlanta after working for four years at Turner Broadcasting when I first moved from NYC). And bravo to Citibike for paving the way.
Fun fact: I tried to get on the UPS global cargo bike team at Corporate a year or two ago but never heard back from them. I would have liked to have been part of this. Maybe I’ll see UPS cargo bikes in Uganda, where I will be serving in the Peace Corps as an Agribusiness Specialist. Maybe they’ll be the way I’ll help farmers (mostly women, by the way) get value-added products to markets around the world, including New York and Atlanta. Maybe it’ll all come full-circle.