Soon we may not be seeing as many FreshDirect trucks rumbling around town, as the vendor is considering a radical new delivery method: the good, old-fashioned bicycle. Although the company declined to officially comment to DNAInfo, workers recently attended a Transportation Department forum to learn more about the city's bicycle laws, a key to avoiding aggressive ticketing by the DOT. The grocer also hinted, "We are constantly looking for ways to go green so we're open to this idea as well as others."
It appears FreshDirect has been taking to heart complaints from community members about delivery trucks polluting their neighborhoods with fumes and noise and taking up valuable parking spaces. "Basically, they're using the streets as their office, but they're not paying the City of New York for that," Andrew Albert, transportation committee chairman of Upper West Side's CB 7, told DNAInfo. Earlier this year, FreshDirect was also criticized by local groups in the Bronx for accepting large government subsides while blocking unions, not hiring local workers and not servicing the areas around their new facility. The company later agreed to fix some of the issues by extending delivery to all areas of the Bronx and accepting food stamps.
It remains to be seen just how far-reaching this new cycling campaign will go and whether implementing said system will be feasible in a city of this size. For example, would bikes only be available for small orders? Will there be an extra delivery fee for this "green" service? Will bicycles be fitted with climate-controlled boxes for perishable items? And perhaps, most importantly, will FreshDirect's remaining trucks stop blocking the bike lanes?