The establishment of a cargo e-bike, micro-hub facility in Vancouver is intended to help limit traffic congestion, reducing the need for some types of trips made by cargo vans and trucks.
The provincial government is providing $200,000 in funding to support the City of Vancouver’s pilot project, which will begin in June 2021 and run for 14 months.
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Such hubs allow packages to be transferred from trucks, stored and then delivered by cargo e-bike to the final delivery destination.
“Investing in green transportation is an important part of our CleanBC plan, and a necessity to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rob Fleming, BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, in a statement.
“With COVID-19, there has been a surge in online shopping, same-day shipping and home delivery, increasing the number of delivery trucks on B.C.’s roads. This project will support efficient last-mile delivery that does not add congestion, noise or air pollution to Vancouver’s busy downtown core.”
Funding from the province will be used for coordination, building rental and maintenance, data collection, and analysis, while the municipal government will provide in-kind support of one full-time employee to manage the project, including coordination and outreach to businesses.
An evaluation of the project in Spring 2022 will focus on productivity, capacity, cost, incidents, and achieved greenhouse gas emission reductions, with the findings used to develop a business case to determine the value of supporting future micro-hub projects.
The success of the Colibri micro-hub in Montreal is a noted example, which sees over 5,000 deliveries daily and is deemed to be more profitable and efficient than traditional delivery trucks in some urban scenarios.
“Cargo bikes have the potential to replace vans or trucks for many types of urban deliveries,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart.
“The city is excited to partner with the province and to work with businesses to encourage more emission-free last-mile deliveries.”
BC already has various programs incentivizing the ownership of electric bicycles, including a specific $1,700 rebate on cargo e-bikes, the expansion of PST exemptions for bicycles and tricycles to e-bikes, and an $850 rebate for scrapping an old car to buy an e-bike.