Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

This image provided by FedEx Express Canada shows that a package is being delivered by an e-bike courier. Residents of the beach, Leslieville and along Danforth may have noticed several of these bikes that have been used for courier deliveries over the past few months.

By ERIN HORROCKS-POPE

Toronto residents have received FedEx packages provided by e-bike couriers over the past year, as many local residents may have noticed.

The pilot project was launched by FedEx Express Canada to reduce CO2 emissions from deliveries with more Canadians than ever before by purchasing online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the initiative was first launched in Toronto, it started with just three bikes. Following a successful pilot over the summer of last year, the program now has more than 40 bikes running in five targeted neighborhoods.

Communities such as Strandene, Leslieville and Danforth were identified as target areas for the project based on density and congestion issues.

The bikes make it easier for couriers to get around the city, avoid traffic and remove the worries of having to park far away or in less than ideal stopping situations.

“It’s definitely easier to get around the city,” said Jeff Gilbert, senior operations manager for FedEx Express Canada.
“The use of bike paths allows (couriers) to avoid a lot of traffic jams, and (they) do not have to worry about city parking.”

The e-bikes used by couriers are “pedelec” bikes, a type of electric bike where pedaling is assisted by a small electric motor. So in neighborhoods like the beach that are full of steep hills, the couriers do not have to fear it uphill terrain, but can have fun instead.

As winter approaches and snow and ice are an inevitable fact of the season, the bikes are equipped with snow tires and will continue to be used in the presence of safe weather conditions. Couriers are equipped with winter equipment to stay dry and warm on their trip.

Since its launch last year, the project has been welcomed by the Torontonians. According to Gilbert, FedEx couriers are often stopped for photos and conversation while driving on their delivery routes.

“The project has been very well received and it is our goal to get as many bikes out there as possible,” Gilbert said.

Following such success in Toronto, the program is now expanding to more Canadian cities with new pilots in place until the spring of 2022. If the pilots are successful, the program will expand within those cities, as it did in Toronto.

FedEx has invested more than $ 2 billion toward its goal of achieving CO2 neutrality by 2040. According to Gilbert, FedEx is focusing on three things while working to make that goal a reality: vehicle electrification, natural carbon sequestration, and sustainable energy.

In addition to the fact that the entire FedEx package pick-up / delivery fleet is expected to be zero-emission vehicles by 2040, the company will also strive to continue its efforts to reduce the fuel consumption used by its aircraft.

For information on becoming a bike bidder, visit the FedEx Express Canada job site at https://careers.fedex.com/expresscanada


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