Bicycle Couriers Up, Motorized Couriers Down
"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."