Boston is asking transportation companies to show how they might set up a network of battery-powered cargo bikes to replace carbon-belching vans for "last mile" package and grocery delivery to Boston residents and businesses.
The city transportation and environment departments and the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics want to see if heavy-duty bikes with batteries could help unclog our crowded streets and help the city reduce carbon emissions in an era where people increasingly want things delivered at home.
Our goal with this RFI is to understand how e-cargo bikes could fit into Boston’s delivery landscape, existing initiatives in the Boston metro area and elsewhere that could inform our potential approach, current obstacles to e-cargo bike adoption by private businesses, and other opportunities to green last-mile deliveries. This RFI will also give the City a picture of who (private business, logistics solution providers, supply chain experts, e-cargo bike providers) may already be experimenting with or thinking about e-cargo bike deployment in the Boston area, or who may have an interest in partnering or supporting potential pilots.
With information from the RFIs, the department would then look at drafting a "request for proposals," in which companies would seek to be hired to provide this new form of delivery service in the city.
The city's formal request for information will be available Monday, with responses due by Aug. 24.