Bicycle Couriers Up, Motorized Couriers Down

In New York City, bicycle courier businesses are witnessing new growth, while motorized couriers struggle to turn profit in an age of rising full-costs.
September 3, 2008, 5am PDT | Mike Lydon
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"New York City's bike messengers remain a fixture on the streets, having weathered the advent of the fax machine and, of course, e-mail. Now, with the cost of gas pummeling courier companies that rely on motorized vehicles, a few enterprising cyclists are using the opportunity to generate more business.

A small but growing number of pedal-powered messengers are outfitting their bicycles and, in some cases, tricycles, with boxes and flatbeds on which they can load hundreds of pounds of cargo.

'Eighty percent of the jobs done in a van I can do,' said Hodari Depalm, the owner of Checker Courier, a cargo messenger company in Manhattan that says it can move up to 200 pounds of documents by bike. Mr. Depalm said his two-man messenger business had increased by 20 percent within the last year."

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Published on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 in The New York Times
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