Recommendations for Service Providers
When you think of a cycle-friendly service, probably the first thing that comes to mind is the fearless bicycle messenger on a road bike pushing through grid-locked traffic. While the use of bike messengers is increasingly widespread, service-oriented businesses operating in most any urban area can greatly benefit by switching from fleets of fossil-fueled powered cars, vans and trucks to load carrying bikes and cargo cycles.
In fact, many business can realize significantly lower fleet acquisition and operating costs as a result of fossil fuel costs being eliminated and overall energy requirements being greatly reduced in addition to very low maintainance costs. Human-powered vehicles and hybrid human/electric vehicles are one of the best sustainable alternatives to carbon offset programs in reducing an organization's C02 emissions in urban applications.
Rain or Shine: local mail can easily be transported and delivered with a bicycle (Photo: detroitrickshaw.com)
Public- and privatized mail delivery services can reduce their CO2 emissions by reducing, or in some cases, entirely eliminating fleets of fossil fuel burning delivery vans. A familiar sight in many European countries, the use of post bikes for routine mail delivery -even in winter months- has long been and continues to be commonplace in cities, towns and villages.
In central Europe a post bike -like the Short John- has an oversized front rack in addition to a large rear rack but the front rack may point slightly downward for easier access to mail bags. A second, slightly smaller enclosed rack is mounted at rear in German-speaking countries. For mail delivery both front and rear racks are usually loaded with waterproof bags filled with letters. Further, continental post bikes have a rolling kickstand with two small wheels which can be dis-engaged with an easy movement *after* getting on the bike -well suited for frequent stops. In Germany, Deutsche Post has a fleet of approximately 25,700 post bikes and 8,000 electrically-assisted bicycles in use. Panniers carrying mail to be delivered are slung over a standard luggage rack in Italy.
In England, bicycles have been used to deliver post since 1880. Front racks on Royal Mail bikes in the UK resemble porteur racks. As of early 2009, Royal Mail had more than 16,000 bicycles, used on a quarter of the country’s 65,000 delivery routes, but foolishly, a reduction in the fleet of post bikes was proposed.
In the U.S., mail is delivered by bicycle in locations in Arizona and Florida - reducing emissions and saving fuel.
The website goes on to state, 'the USPS bicycle program will launch in 2009 or 2010' for bicycles and bike accessories manufactured by Cycle, Inc.
Canada Post could adopt the use of bicycle and pedelecs to deliver mail. Currently, if you search online for "'Canada Post' AND bicycle" and you get several images of Canada Post vans parked in bicycle lanes. According to the Ministry of Transportation for Ontario website, Segways have been approved for use by Canada Post employees. Certainly, a person riding a postal services cargo bicycle can carry many more letters than a person on a Segway.
Inner City Delivery: Fedex is using hybrid human-electric trikes in central Paris (Photo: proxi-business.com)
A cargo cycle is a viable alternative to using a delivery van for many small businesses. On-site transport and deliveries to local customers can be accomplished with ease.
The benefits for both large and small business operations include:
lower 'fleet' acqusition and vehicle maintenance costs, reduced operating costs including elimated fuel costs, improved satisfaction and health of employees with increased fitness levels, reduced stress and less turnover as well as a more positive, greener -not green-washed- customer image for your business.
Long Harry: an updated version of the Long John is used to move a large package (Photo: pedalpower.de)
Meals on Wheels
Pizza Delivery: Domino's Pizza delivers by bicycle in Beijing, China (Photo: dbaron on flickr)
Both large-scale food companies deliverying pizza and other fast food and locally-run enterprises delivering healthy catered school lunches for kids, food boxes for seniors, vegetarian menus or Halal/Kosher meals can all profit from using bicycles equipped with luggage racks or special purpose cargo cycles for zero emission office and home deliveries and thereby winning an increasingly environmentally-concious customer. Alternatively or additionally, the use of an open cargo trailer enables more than one insultated box to be transported by bike.
Meals on Two Wheels (Photo by the author)
Not-for-profit 'meals on wheels' services delivering hot meals to homebound and disabled persons
can also benefit from the use of bicycles. Program operating costs are significantly reduced through the elimination of automotive fuels expenses. This has the side-effect of increasing the attractiveness of the program to potential volunteers, especially youth.
Meals on Wheels (Photo: John Anderson for the Austin Chronicle)
An 8 Freight cargo cycle is used to transport AV equipment to and from customer locations (Photo: av2hire.com)
Event organizers, promotional teams and supporting audio-visual crews including DJs and technicians can bring equipment and personel to locations spots normally blocked off to vehicular traffic using longtail cargo bicycles and flatbed- or custom bicycle trailers.
Messages Received: a projection trailer based on a DIY cargo trailer design provides multimedia displays at events (Photo: txtualhealing.com)
For the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Australia, the organizing committee ordered 50 Kemper Filibus frontloading cargo bicycles as the means of transport in the car-free Olympic Village.
Out and About: a 'bakfiets' box bike can transport a wheelchair-bound passenger (Photo: tmannetje.nl)
Care-givers can use a custom bakfiets box bike instead of a fossil fuel burning vehicle to transport wheelchairs (with or without passengers) around hospital campuses, old-age homes, retirement communities and public parks where motorized vehicles and engine idling are discouraged or are not permitted.
See also the special needs bikes and trikes used as part of patient rehabilitation.
Clean Sweep: a janitorial service in Portland, Oregon keeps properties and the greater environment clean on bike (Photo: BikePortland.org on flickr)
Housekeeping and janitorial crews at resort and luxury hotel complexes, campgrounds and amusement parks can make use of two- and three-wheel cargo cycles to move equipment and supplies around quickly, safely, efficiently and comfortably.
Mobile Repair Service: a custom long john cargo bicycle with integrated toolcase (Photo: ebay.de user bionorika)
Landscaping & Gardening
Green Keepers: a bike powered organic yard care service in Victoria, BC, Canada (Photo: greenkeepers on flickr)
Landscape architects, community gardeners and flower shops all benefit from the use of a customized commercial bike trailer or a cargo bike to transport garden care tools to client locations, to deliver fruits and vegetables to the farmer's market or flowers to customers, respectively.
Flower Power: transporting gardening supplies is not a problem with a long john cargo bike (Photo: cleverchimp on flickr)
Purpose-built DIY/custom bike trailers are useful when frequently transporting longer, wider or larger/bulkier loads.
Green Thumbs: a landscape architect in Sweden makes use of a DIY cargo trailer for her landscaping service (Photo: ucf.se)
Petsitter: a petcare service picks up and delivers using a long john and baker bikes (Photo by the author)
This section is under development.
Tourism & Hospitality
Bike Butler: a bakfiets cargo bike is available at a hotel's concierge to assist guests (Photo: Signarama Canada)
Hotels, motels, B&Bs and campgrounds can offer cruiser city bikes for guests to rent for free or for a fee and a cargo bike or trike as a eco-friendly concierge service. Providing bike safety tips, helmets and maps of the city or area round out the service offering.
See the sightseeing by bike section on the car-free touring page. For train services, see the bike and rail page in the section on intermodality.
mobility, sustainable transportation, personal transport, bicycle friendly, service, cycle-friendly business, business applications, commercial transport, city logistics, urban core, industrial applications, small business owners, tradesmen, merchants, pick-up, close-in delivery, mail, courier, postal services, packages, express, door to door, cargo bikes, trike trucks,