Cargo Cycles for Local and Last Mile Delivery: Lessons from New York City

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Friday, December 4, 2015, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PST
Alison Conway, Assistant Professor, City College of New York

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Cities depend on safe and efficient goods movement to support community livability and a healthy economy. However, delivery of goods in an urban environment presents a tremendous challenge. Traditional motorized vehicles used for goods movement – ranging from cargo vans to box trucks - are inherently incompatible with (1) the multimodal street environments of modern cities, with clean, quiet conditions preferred by residents, and (2) larger environmental sustainability goals. As freight flows continue to grow with the demands of global trade, new urban freight and city logistics solutions are needed.

Cargo cycles – human powered cycles equipped with freight carrying capacity – offer a potential alternative to reduce freight externalities. This presentation will discuss the results of the recently completed “Freight Tricycles in New York City (NYC)” project, which aimed to evaluate the potential for cargo cycles as a local and last-mile freight transportation mode and to understand the traffic performance and externalities of cargo cycles compared to motorized delivery modes in NYC conditions.

Alison Conway is an assistant professor of civil engineering at the City College of New York and the associate director for New Initiatives at the Region 2 University Transportation Research Center. She is also an associated faculty member of METROFREIGHT, a Volvo Research and Education Foundation Center of Excellence in Urban Freight. At CCNY, Dr. Conway teaches courses in transportation engineering and planning and conducts research primarily in the areas of commercial freight policy and logistics, sustainable freight transportation, and multi-modal interactions in the urban environment. She currently chairs the TRB Young Members Council and the ASCE Transportation and Development Institute’s Freight and Logistics Committee, and is a member of TRB’s Freight Data, Truck Size and Weight, and Urban Freight Committees. Dr. Conway holds Ph.D. and master’s degrees in civil engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s of civil engineering from the University of Delaware.