Tag Archive: new york

  1. New York City’s final cargo bike rules declared a victory for sustainable freight deliveries

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    Source: eBikes International

    On March 28, 2024, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced finalized regulations for cargo bikes marking a significant milestone in promoting sustainable delivery practices.

    According to Streetsblog NYC, these new regulations permit extended bike-trailer combinations and introduce the use of four-wheeled cargo bikes resembling vans, heralding a potential revolution in cargo transportation towards eco-friendly alternatives.

    In a statement, DOT acknowledged adjustments made to the initial draft rules following feedback gathered during the public comment period, indicating a receptive approach to industry input. The updated regulations now permit the use of pedal-assist electric-cargo bicycles measuring up to four feet wide, with four wheels, and extending up to 192 inches in length (inclusive of trailers). This is a considerable expansion from the previous limit of 120 inches, which would have restricted the operations of established delivery fleets from Whole Foods and Amazon.

    Ben Morris of Coaster Cycles praised DOT’s efforts, noting their successful balancing of public and private interests. This development signifies a step forward in accommodating the evolving needs of the transportation sector while advancing environmental sustainability objectives.

  2. New York City set to launch ‘Department of Sustainable Delivery’

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    Source: Bloomberg

    To regulate the e-bikes, mopeds, and motorbikes that New Yorkers rely on for delivery services, Mayor Eric Adams announced a new city agency for micromobility oversight.

    New York City announced plans to create a new municipal department to account for the increasing number of electric bikes, scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles that travel the streets to haul packages and deliver food.

    Mayor Eric Adams proposed, in his State of the City address, the creation of the Department of Sustainable Delivery to regulate commercial delivery services that rely on 2 and 3 wheeled micromobility vehicles. These battery-powered vehicles are essential for combating pollution and traffic congestion, however, their emergence has brought controversy around pedestrian and rider safety, the risks posed by e-bike battery fires, and the rights of delivery workers.

    New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, stated “New Yorkers have been clear: We welcome the future of transit and mobility, but we cannot have mopeds speeding down our sidewalks, delivery apps exploiting workers, or chaos on our streets

    Our streets — and how they’re used — have changed, and we’re changing with them. The Department of Sustainable Delivery will be a first-in-the-nation way to let us retake the reins of our streets and ensure that the next generation of mobility innovation works for our workers, our neighbours, and our city, as we continue to deliver on our vision to protect public safety, rebuild our economy, and make this city more liveable for working-class New Yorkers.”

    In a conversation with Bloomberg CityLab, Meera Joshi, the deputy mayor for operations in the city, explained that the newly established organization aims to highlight the positive aspects of the industry while addressing the negatives. The goal is to ensure that New Yorkers maintain their crucial access to 24/7 takeout without facing detrimental consequences. Joshi expressed the desire for a diverse range of items, from a 4 a.m. burger to furniture, to be deliverable to people’s doorsteps.

    She acknowledged the recent growth in app-driven delivery as beneficial for the economy, expanding business bases and fostering innovation in logistics. Joshi noted the positive impact on workers, creating accessible job opportunities. However, she also recognized the challenges associated with this expansion.

    Joshi characterized the current regulatory approach as a reactive “whack-a-mole” game, with different departments handling various aspects. She highlighted the confusion among companies looking to adapt to changes, emphasizing the need for a unified regulatory framework. Drawing parallels to her experience leading the Taxi and Limousine Commission, she advocated for a comprehensive structure for micromobility vehicles, anticipating and managing issues like e-bike congestion and preparing for future technologies like delivery drones and robots.

    The city aims to gather valuable data from on-demand app companies through the new entity, focusing on trip details and demand patterns. This data will inform infrastructure development, such as wider bike lanes on busy avenues to accommodate the growing number of micromobility users.

    Looking ahead, City Hall plans to collaborate with City Council and convene a task force, involving representatives from labour groups and app companies, to shape the regulatory mission of the newly established office. Transportation and labour advocates express concern about potential duplication and added burdens for workers, especially undocumented immigrants. The goal remains to create a safe e-micromobility landscape, encouraging New Yorkers to shift away from cars and trucks. Advocates emphasize straightforward solutions like prioritizing protected bike lanes for safety, liveability, transit justice, and climate benefits.

  3. Swobbee joins DOT Studio project for safer e-micromobility battery charging solutions

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    New York pilot scheme is part of administration’s “Charge Safe, Ride Safe” plan to support safe e-bike use

    Battery charging and swapping innovator, Swobbee, is excited to be part of the DOT Studio, a partnership between the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and Newlab, that aims to identify, test, and evaluate the most promising e-micromobility battery charging solutions, with the aim of improving safety and efficiency.

    As a Studio participant, Swobbee is working with key stakeholders, including New York City Fire Department and local delivery workers, to test and refine products to fit the unique needs of New York City’s food delivery workers. Learnings from the pilot will be essential for informing the City’s approach to infrastructure in the era of electric micromobility.

    The pilot will test a variety of technologies to charge e-bike batteries at multiple locations across the city.

    “New Yorkers rely on delivery workers for so much, and this innovative pilot program will test different technologies to make this technology safer as we continue to do all we can to help protect workers from the dangers that lithium-ion batteries can pose,” said New York Mayor Eric Adams. “By investing in battery-swapping networks and fast-charging e-bike docks, we’re building e-bike-friendly infrastructure and preparing our city’s streets for a new generation of users. Today’s announcement builds on our holistic strategy to ensure that we safely harness the transformative potential of e-bikes in our city.”

    “Delivery workers are under enormous economic pressure. When time is money, it’s no wonder when unsafe practices become the norm,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Delivery workers deserve a safe and sustainable way to make a living, as we all do. This pilot will not only protect them, but the families who share their homes. It is a crucial step in helping to create order and safety in the e-micromobility space.”

    “The tremendous growth in electric bikes and other legal, two-wheeled devices provides an exciting glimpse into a future where New Yorkers are less dependent on large, more dangerous vehicles to get around,” said New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “Supporting this ridership boom with safe, public infrastructure can help make our city safer and more sustainable — while providing vital infrastructure for our delivery workers, who have one of the toughest jobs in New York City. We thank Mayor Adams for his support through the ‘Charge Safe, Ride Safe’ action plan to develop this pilot.”

    “Spreading education about safe practices for lithium-ion batteries is one of the FDNY’s top priorities,” said Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “We know these fires can cause serious injury, and even death. We are grateful to our partners in city government for their out-of-the-box thinking on how we can embrace this new technology while also protecting lives.”

    Swobbee warmly invites interested industry vehicle OEMs to join them, and participate in the vehicle ecosystem, providing bikes with safe batteries for delivery workers. Visit Swobbee’s website to get in touch.

    Learn more about the pilot at the NYC Goverment website.

    About Swobbee

    As a provider of rental batteries and battery charging stations, Swobbee offers the world’s first manufacturer-independent battery swapping system. The Berlin-based green tech company supports micro-mobility businesses in implementing efficient, safe, and sustainable charging processes. Swobbee’s mission is to build a network of battery exchange stations with the goal of positively impacting the energy and mobility transition. Network effects such as cost savings and increased safety are created by reducing the distance traveled to swap batteries and by monitoring all charging processes and batteries. Swobbee’s battery exchange system allows for a risk-free and cost-optimized operation of various applications of electric micro-mobility, such as cargo bikes, scooters, kick scooters, and mopeds.

  4. Plans for world’s first heliport for electric flight in New York City

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    Source: NYC

    Quieter, more sustainable helicopters aim to improve quality of life for New Yorkers

    New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) CEO Andrew Kimball have unveiled plans to transform Downtown Manhattan Heliport (DMH) into a groundbreaking sustainable transportation and delivery hub. The initiative aims to make DMH the world’s first heliport supporting electric flight, reducing noise pollution and advancing last-mile and maritime freight distribution.

    The NYCEDC has issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking an operator to upgrade the heliport’s infrastructure for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, integrating last-mile and maritime freight services. The RFP emphasizes on-site workforce development in aviation and maritime sectors. Leading eVTOL companies, Joby and Volocopter, demonstrated the technology’s potential to enhance New Yorkers’ quality of life.

    As part of Mayor Adams’ “Working People’s Tour,” this initiative follows record job recovery after the pandemic-induced losses, with a historic 4.7 million total jobs. The plan aligns with Adams’ “PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done” and “Making New York Work for Everyone” action plan.

    The DMH transformation supports the Adams administration’s commitment to creating a low-carbon, multi-modal working waterfront, incorporating blue highways for sustainable freight delivery. The RFP encourages investment in supporting infrastructure, quiet eVTOL technology adoption, last-mile micro-distribution, and workforce development.

    Two eVTOL companies conducted piloted demonstration flights at DMH, showcasing the technology’s potential for quieter and greener alternatives. The NYCEDC anticipates Federal Aviation Administration certification by 2025, with commercial flights shortly thereafter.

    The RFP, open until January 12, 2024, requires the chosen operator to commit to DMH and NYC skies’ sustainability, invest in infrastructure, and meet community quality-of-life concerns. The concession agreement spans five years, with options for renewal upon fulfilling all requirements.

    Mayor Adams emphasizes this visionary plan’s positive impact on urban noise reduction and improved air quality, positioning New York City at the forefront of electric flight technology. The initiative reflects a holistic approach to sustainable urban development, aligning with global efforts to reduce transportation emissions and enhance overall urban well-being.

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