Toronto is partnering with UPS to launch a cargo delivery bicycle pilot project to improve the flow of traffic in the densest parts of the city.
“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,” Christoph Atz, president of UPS Canada, said during a press conference in Toronto on Monday.
Officials said the pilot will begin with just one bicycle conducting deliveries by travelling on roadways.
Mayor John Tory said the test vehicle, which carries a large square cargo hitch in the rear, won’t be allowed on bicycle lanes.
However, the delivery vehicle will be permitted to use designated load-off zones on certain city streets.
“We have created a number of places on side streets now, we are trying actively to discourage the point of towing away vehicles that park on main streets, particularly during rush hour,” Tory said.
“This will be a lot easier to find a place to park than will a big truck.”
UPS officials said the pilot project, which was first launched in Hamburg, Germany in 2012, is part of the company’s plan towards a more sustainable city.
Atz said UPS currently employs 400 workers and operates 200 delivery vehicles in Toronto. So far this year, UPS said it has delivered 20 million packages to residents, homes and businesses in the city.
UPS said it also hopes to work with the Ontario government to amend the province’s Highway Traffic Act to allow the company to deploy cargo e-bikes.