Amsterdam and Copenhagen, among others, have been delivering mail by bike for some time. However, the US Postal Service has not quite embraced the idea (wait until gas goes back up to $4 a gallon again). UPS, however, is starting to get the message. This holiday season, they deployed bikes for their residential deliveries, reports the New York Times.
The article explains that since most of UPS' deliveries are business to business, they have more of a challenge handling the influx of packages going to homes during the holiday season in a cost-efficient manner. The bicycle trailer they use can only hold 15-20 packages -- but I imagine if they are entering a neighborhood where those deliveries are all spread out (versus a downtown area where they may be delivering that many packages to one building), it makes much more sense to go by bike. It won't take much more time than driving and parking a truck every half mile or so would, and doesn't use gas or eat into vehicle maintenance costs, which are the things their accounting department cares about. Things I care about include a less carbon being spewed into the atmosphere and a healthier work environment for the UPS drivers who are riding every day. (Plus, look at those awesome built-in mittens to keep the driver's hands warm while riding and braking!)
Way to go UPS! Now, can you guys have a game of golf with USPS and get them to drink the Kool-Aid, too? Thanks.