This post was an April Fool's Day post. Be thee warned, lest ye believe.
The future of package delivery in Washington, DC is going to look a lot like the past. FedEx recently announced that they would be adding a fleet of bicycle delivery vehicles to serve the area near their Eckington Ship Center. For close in deliveries, the service will be faster, cheaper and will allow the center to break the vehicle loading bottleneck at heavy times.
“We dispatch 300 vehicles a day from here, and just don’t have the ability to double that in peak delivery times." said Manager Tom Collins. "But the bikes can load from a smaller side door."
FedEx plans to build a small connector trail from their ship center parking lot across DC and PEPCO owned land behind it to the Metropolitan Branch Trail. In the short term, they plan to focus on delivers to and from locations within one mile that can be accessed quickly. That will include all the areas between Catholic University and Union Station. "We send enough deliveries to NoMa alone to support one bicycle delivery vehicle full time." Collins adds. "And with expansion of the Met Branch Trail north and a new trail being planned to the east, there is plenty of room to increase our bike use."
These bikes won't be like any seen on area roads or trails right now. The three-wheeled, electric assist bicycles have large, wardrobe style cargo compartments capable of carrying dozens of packages.
Meanwhile, UPS has also decided to make changes in their business according to statements yesterday by spokesman Robert Roy.
"We've decided to focus on what we can do better than anyone else in the world and that's illegally parking." said Roy. "Starting this summer we're going to transition from a package delivery company that occasionally parks illegally in bike lanes to one that exclusively blocks traffic with illegal parking. Package delivery is getting in the way of that." The company emphasizes that they won't limit themselves to just bike lanes. "Oh yeah... traffic lanes, bus-only lanes, sidewalks, metro tracks, airport runways, launchpads, the Suez Canal. Anywhere you're trying to go, you're going to find a UPS vehicle blocking your path."
"See that bike lane over there?" Roy said pointing at L Street, "Our UPS drivers are going to totally fucking park in that thing. It will just be a beautiful line of UPS trucks from here to Foggy Bottom. 'What can Brown do for you?' We can block this bike lane. You're welcome."
When asked how UPS would make money without package delivery. Roy replied "By being the best at what we do. By working harder than everyone else. For too long package delivery has subsidized our core business of inconveniencing drivers and cyclists, but we're about to find out if we can make it without that crutch. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but we hope to make our profits on volume."
Management is excited about the new direction the company is taking. "It's time for UPS to think outside of the box. And then to block the box...and the bike lane."
UPS stock moved significantly higher following the announcement.