mcw logo

The purpose of this roundtable series is to tap the expertise of the private sector to develop a framework to deploy micro-cargo in the Financial District.

This series has included many of the leading older operators as well as some of the hottest technology from Europe.

This roundtable series is intended to provide private sector ideas and support to the various initiatives of the EDC, DOT, DCAS, and other agencies.

4 roundtables

roundtable #4 Action! establishing a micro cargo network in fidi.

11.15.23 @ noon. This last roundtable is about creating an action plan to enable expansion of the use of micro cargo over trucks. Special guests will be Stephanie La Raja, former head of marketing at Citibike, and Sam Starr, founder of the North American Cargo Bike Conference (in Vancouver).

Invent.City Snapshot (5 min): Pushing back against the climate crisis, transforming FiDi into a carbon net-zero living lab and a global innovation hub. Will include a very fast presentation. Key considerations:
  •  Carbon net zero: ~$12 trillion economy.
  •  Current NYC GMP: ~$2 trillion.
  •  FiDi's vacancy rate: ~28%.
Urban Hub Network Snapshot (5 min):  Discussion on the concept of an urban hub  Essential operational changes in FiDi, with micro cargo as a pivotal element. Includes:
  •  Micro cargo (DOT).
  •  Bike support (DCAS).
  •  Garbage management (DSNY).
  •  Public toilets (MBPO).
Overview of Micro Cargo Wars! (5 min): Quickly review the first three roundtables. Ask for comments. First three:
  •  #1 State of the Market.
  •  #2 Economic Potential. 
  •  #3 Investment Potential.
KEY AGENDA: Action Plan (45 min): The goal is to develop an action plan to deploy a micro-cargo ecosystem in FiDi. It will include a discussion of DOT and the EDC's recently issued RFEI for a Blue Highway. Some of the discussion topics could include:
  •  Create a Micro Cargo Trade Group
  •  Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)
  •  Immediately Pursue Public Funding
  •  Describe Logistics Plan
  •  Implement tools (InCitu, Ginkgo)
  •  Identify Proponents, Opponents
  •  Target Infrastructure Development
  •  Cultivate Proactive Narratives
What's Next? (5 min):

ROUNDTABLE #3 A Unicorn in the Midst?

11.01.23 @ noon. Discussed the investment prospects of an evolving micro cargo industry. Intended to included thorough market analysis, industry landscape review, ecosystem assessment, and insights into revenue channels and cost reduction strategies for both capital and operating expenses. But roundtable was much better. It resulted in a list of recommendations on what the industry should do to prosper for itself, and be more useful to NYC.

Sam Starr, North American Cargo Bike Conference
Jeff Olson, re:Charge e, Founder of Citibike
Create a Micro Cargo Trade Group: Foster industry collaboration, unify voices in governmental discussions, and organize trade shows and events for greater visibility and influence. In 2024 Invent.City will provide a monthly platform similar to these roundtables for micro cargo industry discussions.  
Propose Public-Private Partnerships (PPP): Leverage the benefits of a thriving micro cargo industry for NYC through PPPs to optimize collective advantages and operational efficacy.
Immediately Persue Public Funding: Seek investment through the MTA and Central Business District Tolling Program revenues, alongside federal funds, to support infrastructure and innovation.
Establish Industry Standards: Differentiate from regulations by adopting international benchmarks such as the UK's and automotive SAE standards, ensuring quality and safety.
Identify Industry Champions: Emulate Bloomberg's Citibike success by finding influential advocates and forming alliances with local businesses and community groups.
Identify Expert Groups: Collaborate with stakeholders to educate, develop policy statements, and frame effective solutions to industry challenges.
Develop a Logistics Plan: Create a comprehensive plan to facilitate diverse operators, implement a hub and spoke system, and integrate the Blue Highway network.
Target Infrastructure Development: Construct a network of logistical hubs, set standards for infrastructure, and possibly develop a unified application for industry use.
Cultivate Proactive Narratives: Craft and disseminate positive narratives that highlight the benefits of micro cargo, and proactively address potential criticisms.

ROUNDTABLE #2 Micro-Cargo and NYC's economy.

10.18.23 @ noon. Roundtable examined the economic impact of a robust micro cargo sector on NYC including cost savings, environmental gains from reduced truck traffic, improved quality of life, and revitalized demand for currently vacant office spaces. It is incontrovertable that the city and state have much to gain from a robust micro cargo industry.

Cindy McLaughlin, Carbon Built/Urb-E
Zach Schieffelin, Civilized Cycles
Paul Mondesire, ex-Lime, Superpedestrian
Dan Ilkay, Cyclemobile Association
Steve Meyer, Main Street Mobility
Reduced traffic congestion: Enhancing efficiency on NYC's streets by replacing trucks with micro cargo solutions.
Fewer emissions, carcinogens: Improving NYC's air quality by cutting down on pollutants from traditional truck traffic.
Safer streets, fewer accidents: Decreasing the risk of traffic-related incidents in NYC through the use of smaller, more maneuverable cargo vehicles.
Less noise pollution: Contributing to a quieter NYC environment by reducing the noise footprint of delivery vehicles.
Enhanced health benefits: Promoting a healthier NYC by minimizing the public's exposure to traffic-related hazards.
Foster specific economic opportunities: Stimulating NYC's economy by creating new jobs and business models centered on micro cargo.
Lower infrastructure costs: Reducing wear and tear on NYC's roads and bridges, leading to decreased maintenance expenses.
Increased tax revenues: Boosting NYC's economy through additional tax income from a thriving micro cargo sector.
Increase demand for real estate: Revitalizing unused spaces in NYC as potential micro cargo hubs or offices.

ROUNDTABLE #1 Surging demand for Micro-Cargo.

10.18.23 @ noon: This gave an overview of NYC's burgeoning micro cargo sector. Micro cargo deliveries surged from 2.4 million packages to 3.6 million packages in two year. NYC's micro-cargo industry has lagged European cities, but well connected European companies are entering fast. Savvy NYC companies are also innovating at lightening speed. Ecosystem players are also spying opportunity.  

Marcus Hoed, DutchX
Jonathon Nunan, EAV
Gregg Zuman, Revolution Rickshaws
Martin Rahmani, Hub Bicycles
Austin Pferd, Urban Rover
The new quad cycle from UK-based EAV.
hub nyc
NYC-based Hub Bicycles new cargo trike.
Standardize DOT Regulations: As the micro cargo sector evolves, the DOT's adoption of international and automotive industry standards is crucial. This creates a more orderly market and facilitates a better fit within the urban transport mix. Detailing vehicle dimensions remains a key task for DOT.
Enhance Safety Measures: Establishing a maximum width of 36” to 48” and revisiting speed limits aligns NYC with successful European models. Safety is paramount, with London and Amsterdam offering instructive examples.
NYC as a Model City: NYC's unique urban landscape makes it an ideal testbed for micro-mobility integration. Success here could herald a global standard for city transportation.
Exploit the Blue Highway: The EDC and DOT's exploration of waterways and eco-friendly vehicles for goods movement could revolutionize urban delivery systems, reducing congestion and emissions.
Value for Property Owners: Demonstrating the advantages of repurposing car parks into micro-mobility hubs helps building owners understand the economic and environmental benefits of such a transformation.
Consensus on Safety: Agreements on safety gear, such as helmets and vests, are essential to protect those utilizing micro-mobility solutions.
Collaboration with Trucking: The Trucking Association of New York recognizes the potential of automotive-grade solutions for a more resilient delivery infrastructure that complements traditional trucking methods.
Automotive-Grade Infrastructure: Heavy-duty chassis designs offer versatility for various cargo types, mirroring the modularity of the automotive sector, suggesting a shift towards more durable micro cargo vehicles.
Europe's Lead in Micro Cargo: Europe is setting the pace with automotive-grade micro cargo vehicles, with trikes and quads that are both efficient and proven in the field.