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UPS to test delivering packages by cargo bike in Canada

UPS and Toronto are partnering to launch a cargo bike delivery pilot project in Canada's largest city


Cargo delivery bikes are coming to Canadians streets. Toronto and UPS are partnering to launch a pilot project that will see packages delivered by cargo bike in Canada’s largest city.

“A constant source of frustration for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are courier companies parked in bike lanes or taking up lane of traffic,” mayor John Tory Tweeted following the announcement.

The project is part of UPS’s plan to make cities more livable and get big vehicles delivering small packages off the streets. Delivering packages by cargo bike is already done in cities around the world such as Frankfurt, Vienna and Rome where mayor John Torry says it has made a difference. UPS launched the project in Hamburg, Germany in 2012.



Cargo bikes take up less place on road ways, are easier to park in lane-ways and designated stopping areas, and are more environmentally friendly. It’s the sort of innovation Tory hopes will reduce the number of big delivery trucks on Toronto’s city streets.

“The success and learnings of this pilot will determine our strategy going forward for cargo delivery by bicycle on a larger scale in Toronto and potentially to other cities across Canada,” explained president of UPS Canada Christoph Atz in a press conference on Monday.

There are currently 200 UPS delivery vehicles operated by 400 UPS employees delivering packages on the streets of Toronto. The project will start with just one cargo bike that will use roadways and will not be permitted to use bike paths.The bikes uses a large square cargo hitch in the rear and will begin make deliveries in the area around York University proximate to UPS’s main distribution centre in Toronto.

While pedal powered bikes will be the first to be deployed, UPS said it hopes to work with the Ontario government to amend the province’s Highway Traffic Act to allow the company to deploy cargo e-bikes in the future.