Toronto is a cold place and I would not begrudge a FedEx delivery person who wanted to take a nice warm van out in the snowy, 7F weather. It’s why we applaud this FedEx driver (biker?), who bravely took their Bullitt cargo bike out on studded tires to deliver some packages.
FedEx Canada, working with local organizations, launched this service in summer 2020. Toronto summers are generally nice and the urban core has numerous and easily accessible bike lanes. Cargo bikes make sense.
For all the work of getting a package across the world, often the most expensive part of delivering something is getting it the “last mile,” i.e., bringing it to the final destination. For cities, the last mile is often a dense area with little parking. This is a common issue for all transit, but especially for delivery.
As mentioned, this is a Bullitt cargo bike with a custom package area built to meet the width of Toronto’s bike lanes (lest a package carrier punt a kid off a tricycle). These are e-assist bikes the appear to be using the Shimano system, which adds torque when necessary and only when the user is actually peddling.
These bikes are often used in Europe, and according to this article there are over 1,000 being used by DHL. These bikes are capable of delivering 25-35% more packages than a traditional van over the same period of time. DHL is using a larger bike in downtown Miami as part of a similar project.
Toronto, like many of these locations, uses a “micro-hub” so the bikers can go hit a section of town and come back to pick up more gear. I’d have assumed these were not a popular choice in Canada’s sometimes snowy winters, but I was wrong.
A Twitter user noticed a delivery last week and posted a shout out to the rider, pointing out that it was -14C (or about 7F) outside. Godspeed FedEx person. I hope you were wearing a turtleneck.
You lose a lot of heat in your neck…