NEW YORK - The New York City Department of Transportation announced an initiative Wednesday to allow the use of commercial cargo bikes in an effort to reduce delivery-related congestion in Manhattan.
DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said that her department is looking at new ways to make the city's streets "safer, greener, less congested."
As many as 100 pedal-assisted cargo bikes operated by Amazon, UPS and DHL would be allowed to park in spots typically reserved for trucks and vans. Some smaller cargo bikes will be permitted to park on the sidewalk.
Under this program, Amazon will have 90 grocery cargo bikes on the streets, DHL will have three and UPS will have two.
The goal of the program is to reduce the number of delivery vehicles on the city's streets. Both Amazon and DHL said that a truck will be taken off the road for every cargo bike they deploy.
The electric cargo bikes would be concentrated in Manhattan from 60th Street to the Battery and they would not have to pay meters, reported the New York Times.
Amazon already has 90 bikes on the streets of New York that resemble rickshaws. That number could increase depending on the success of the program, Trottenberg said.
The bikes have a maximum speed of 12 mph.
The bikes have been tested in other cities including Seattle, Paris, London, and Dublin.