BOSTON (WHDH) - A new pilot program set to launch next month will aim to trade out local delivery vehicles for “electric cargo bikes” in Allston with the goal of supporting local businesses, reducing pollution, easing congestion and improving street safety, city officials said.
Dubbed “Boston Delivers,” the program is rolling out after the expansion of car-based delivery services in recent years.
“There’s so many parts of traffic that are actually caused by delivery cars that are double parked or just circulating on the roads,” Mayor Michelle Wu said.
Wu and the Boston Transportation Department announced Boston Delivers on Tuesday. Among comments, Wu said in a statement that officials are launching the program “to explore how to make our streets flow more smoothly and safely for everyone.”
“A lot of the trips especially for close deliveries can be done much more quickly by bicycle,” Wu separately told 7NEWS Tuesday afternoon.
Boston Delivers is expected to launch in mid-September and run for at least one year, delivering cargo to and from businesses.
In Boston, restaurant owner John Kim said his Korean food restaurant, OliToki, relies on delivery as a key part of its businesses. He said traffic has been “pretty brutal” for anyone driving around Boston, adding “It’s definitely got worse in the past five to seven years.”
Kim is among the first to jump on for the test run of Boston Delivers.
“All those goods are now getting to where they need to be in one small lane instead of all these cars and trucks causing more traffic and pollution,” he said.
Kim’s involvement has required a small investment — paying $15 per hour for the promotion of the Boston Delivers program.
Speaking this week, though, Kim said he’s willing to try the program out to make food more accessible for customers.
“Even if it’s breaking even, really, our goal as a restaurant is to just offer another option for our community,” Kim said.
Within Allston, resident Jon Tan said biking is his preferred mode of transportation. He continued, saying biking is faster.
“Especially in an area like Boston where it’s very congested most of the time, it would be beneficial,” Tan said.
Others were not so convinced Tuesday evening.
“Personally, I would rather my stuff be delivered in a car,” said Dan Kennedy, who frequents Allston.
Allston resident Jarom Larman also discussed potential roadblocks the soon-to-launch program could face.
“I don’t know how the bike riders would fare,” Larman said.
“We have a designated bike lane but anytime anyone needs to run in somewhere, they just park in it,” he continued.
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