UPS Canada President Christoph Atz and Toronto Mayor John Tory pose with new electric assist cargo bike. Photo courtesy of UPS. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/J.P. Moczulski
Mayor backs cargo bikes as Pembina releases cyclelogistics report

Mayor John Tory took a cargo bike out for a spin in a show of support for the announcement by UPS that they are launching a cargo bike delivery pilot project in Toronto. The announcement coincided nicely with the October release of Cyclelogistics: Opportunities for moving goods by bicycle in Toronto published by the Pembina Institute, with support from the Metcalf Foundation. According to the new study, downtown Toronto has huge potential for this form of delivery, which would bring with it both economic and environmental benefits.

Cyclelogistics is a word and concept that will be new to most Canadians. It refers to the use of any type of bicycle – from cargo bikes or tricycles to a regular bike with a rider wearing a backpack or equipped with panniers – used to move goods. Cyclelogistics arrives in Toronto with a solid international track record of improving the efficiency of deliveries in congested urban areas. One cyclelogistics initiative in Manchester, United Kingdom found that electric cargo bikes were able to make almost twice as many deliveries per hour as traditional vans.

The studies author Nithya Vijayakumar, Pembina Institute’s Senior Advisor, Transportation and Urban Solutions, sees cyclelogistics as an exciting opportunity for the city. “These vehicles will help relieve traffic congestion, improve air quality, save businesses time and money, and help raise the profile of cycling downtown.”

Listen to a Radio Canada interview with the report’s author Nithya Vijayakumar.

Metcalf Foundation activities are continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about our response here.