Facilitating the use of micromobility devices for the last mile of urban deliveries can reduce congestion, lower emissions, and take bigger vehicles off small neighborhood roads.
A whitepaper commissioned by Uber describes the potential for micromobility to improve last-mile delivery of goods, which, for the most part, are currently delivered by cars and trucks. As reported by Charles Pekow in Smart Cities Dive, “Use of micromobility vehicles for those last-mile deliveries can bring a variety of benefits in urban areas — benefits some cities are already realizing, the whitepaper states.”
While these devices aren’t practical everywhere, the paper notes five strategies cities can implement to improve infrastructure for micromobility deliveries:
- Make micromobility users feel safe by taking Vision Zero and Safe Systems approaches to road infrastructure, regulations and communications.
- Facilitate safe and easy pick-up and drop-off of deliveries such as through curbside management strategies and building codes.
- Provide policy leadership in support of micromobility such as net zero emissions goals and innovation incubators.
- Support remoding of last-mile deliveries through micro-logistics hubs and other efforts.
- Test and scale ideas that work.
The article notes that bike delivery is nothing new, dating back more than a hundred years. “The whitepaper documents how other cities have successfully implemented bike delivery services. For example, after Toronto improved its cycling network, Uber Eats saw its bike deliveries in that city increase 40% from 2019 and 2020, Uber said. A 2019 project in New York City more than doubled cargo bike deliveries in the covered area, with each cargo bike that replaced a van or box truck resulting in about 7 tons fewer of annual CO2 emissions.”
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