Kaid Benfield Archive


MetroPeds brings human-powered cargo delivery to Boston

Kaid Benfield

Posted December 29, 2008 at 2:18PM

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Metro Pedal Power bills itself as a "Boston area work-cycles and human-powered delivery service," committed to providing customers with first-rate, personal service while reducing truck traffic and emissions.  That's a pretty interesting conceptual start for the company previously known as the New Amsterdam Project.  

   they say it's good exercise (by: MetroPeds)  GM Wenzday Jane turns a corner (by: MetroPeds)

Earlier this year, Mark Clayton wrote in The Christian Science Monitor:

"Cambridge, Mass. - On a recent drizzly gray afternoon, Wenzday Jane straps on gaiters to keep tire spray from soaking her socks. Then she hops onto a ruby-red three-wheeled cycle van with a silver-winged "NAP" monogram emblazoned on its cargo hold - and pedals smoothly into thick Boston traffic.

"Her mission: Deliver 150 pounds of gourmet chocolates and cheeses from industrial kitchens in Cambridge, Mass., to shops and restaurants across Boston, while emitting zero pollution.

"In a city choked with diesel-spewing delivery trucks, the fledgling New Amsterdam Project (NAP), a Cambridge-based cargo-hauling company, is pedaling toward profits aboard an emissions-free fleet of urban "cargo trikes."

"China, India, and other developing nations have long utilized bicycle-based delivery for many goods - but are shifting toward engine-powered vehicles. Across North America, bicycle delivery services exist in several cities. Yet pedal-powered hauling for cargo has been largely a no-show in the United States.

"That makes NAP stand out for its sole focus on human-powered cargo delivery . . ."

   Wenzday Jane, stopped in traffic (by: MetroPeds)  delivering cheese (by: MetroPeds)

Jane is the company's general manager.  With the assistance of small electric motors, she and her colleagues can carry loads up to an amazing 800 pounds.  To make the story even better, a substantial portion of the company's business is delivering organically grown produce from local-area farms.  From the MetroPeds blog on December 7:

"Well, here we are. This is Metro Pedal Power, formerly New Amsterdam Project.

"We're a pedal powered delivery service currently operating in the Metro Boston Area. It has been about a year now since we started and I think it's getting easier. Either that or I am just getting used to the pain.

"I have to say, I never really thought of running a delivery company. I mean, I thought about doing a lot of things over the years but... nope, not once.

"I also never imagined that it could be such an interesting and rewarding experience.

"I pedaled through the hills of Belmont yesterday, delivering veggies that were farmed on a little 1 acre plot of land by Gretta Anderson. My round trip was over 20 miles with the furthest point practically in Waverly . . ."

They have even made the business news on TV.  Check this out:

You gotta root for this kind of positivity.  Go MetroPeds.