Assessing Public Health Benefits of Replacing Freight Trucks with Cargo Cycles in Last Leg Delivery Trips in Urban Centers

Monday, July 11, 2022 - 17:30

Increased urbanization, population growth, and demand for time-sensitive deliveries means increased freight movement in cities, which contributes to emissions, noise, and safety concerns. One innovative mode gaining widespread attention for urban deliveries is cargo cycles—bicycles adapted for freight delivery. Despite the recognized potential and possible success of transporting at least 25% of freight via cycle, research remains limited. This research investigates the potential of cargo cycle delivery for last mile freight in Oakland, California, with a focus on the West Oakland neighborhood. The data collection included interviews, focus groups, vehicle field observation and counts, and traffic simulation modeling. The traffic simulation examined scenarios where businesses converted different percentages of current deliveries to cargo cycles using a transfer hub as the starting point for their cargo cycle delivery. The best-case scenario—where the maximum percentage of deliveries were made with cargo cycle instead of motorized vehicles—resulted in reductions of 2600 vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per day. The full text of this report is available online from the Mineta Transportation Institute at


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