Freight-Tricycle Operations in New York City

Safe and reliable freight delivery is vital to support the needs of a livable community. In neighborhoods where the primary means of transportation for residents are transit, bicycling, or walking, local access to goods and services is absolutely essential. Retail stores, restaurants, offices, and other local industries cannot function without reliable delivery of the goods needed to operate their businesses. In Manhattan, more than 110,000 freight deliveries are made to businesses and residences daily. In order to make these deliveries, truck and van operators in the New York City (NYC) region are required to navigate more than 7 hours of congested traffic daily. In Manhattan, where traffic gridlock is most severe, drivers also face an extreme parking challenge. Inaccessible parking, inadequate off-loading facilities, and lacking freight elevators lead to vehicle circling and idling, wasting driver time and fuel. Carriers, who are required to double-park, block through traffic flow on vehicle and bicycle lanes and accrue parking fines averaging $500 to $1000 per truck per month for deliveries made during business hours. A significant share of NYC delivery vehicles carry food; according to the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, more than 25% of trucks entering NYC via Port Authority crossings in 2009 were carrying food products. Many food deliveries are complicated by a need for temperature control throughout the supply-chain. In order to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP) requirements, the entire supply-chain, including warehouses and vehicles, must be certified to ensure cold-chain maintenance. Currently, cold-chain constraints may limit the use of multi-modal supply chains that require transshipment. Nearly all last-mile freight delivery in NYC is performed by commercial trucks and vans, and the majority of these vehicles are diesel-fueled. When diesel-engines burn fuel, byproducts emitted include particulate matter, greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and other noxious substances that impact air quality, public health, and the environment. Excessive fuel combustion due to congestion and idling elevates emissions levels beyond those resulting from unimpeded operations. In addition to engine emissions, truck operations also create noise pollution that is particularly undesirable in areas with mixed commercial and residential development. Trucks also pose a safety challenge on shared multi-modal infrastructure. Although truck drivers are often more cautious than other vehicle operators, severity is generally much greater in truck-involved accidents. Recent NYC studies of accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists found that trucks and other large vehicles contribute to a disproportionate share of fatal incidents.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

    17 Columbia Circle
    Albany, NY  USA  12203
  • Project Managers:

    Mooney, Deborah

  • Performing Organizations:

    City College of the City University of New York

    30 West Broadway, 11th Floor
    New York, NY  USA  10007
  • Principal Investigators:

    Kamga, Camille

    Conway, Alison

  • Start Date: 20120501
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130430
  • Source Data: RiP Project 32165

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01467123
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: 55524-0001
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:28PM