Dan Munshaw is seeing if there’s any interest in having a green courier.
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Green couriers could be zipping along area roadways in the near future, but only if the city can find the interest.
Dan Munshaw, manager of the city’s supply management division, informally tested the marketplace last year by speaking with area companies that provided similar services.
This year, Munshaw is making his research more official. The city has posted a call for expressions of interest for green couriers.
Munshaw said using bicycle couriers as well as a fleet of electric vehicles could significantly reduce the city’s carbon footprint. He also threw out the idea of using public transit.
“The city and its supply partners are trying to support council’s strategic objective of having everything cleaner and greener and having a more vibrant community,” he said.
“Where we have supplies being delivered to the city that are non-rushed, non-critical and have a bit more time to deal with, our supply partners can use the services of the green courier to deliver these products.”
He admits implementing the green courier idea isn’t without its challenges.
One of the big issues is the city’s weather. Having a bike courier operating in the cold or on slick roads would be a safety issue.
Munshaw suggested to overcome this obstacle, couriers could switch to using public transit to get around the city.
“We’re looking at who may be interested in providing a service to the city that would support that concept,” he said.
“We would be accommodating to try and work with a business or company to try and launch something like this. It has to be sustainable and has to have a good business plan. We’re flexible. I’m just trying to tease the market to say ‘the city of Thunder Bay is interested in doing something innovative to support the environment.’”
He added that concept could be the first of its kind.
Lisa Lemarquand, marketing director for Zoom Courier, said the company put in its bid this week.
Zoom Courier has offered a bike courier for the past two years, but primarily runs the service during the summer. The courier often transported small packages, like letters.
Lemarquand said the city’s plan would allow them to offer a green option all year round.
“The folks at Zoom thought there was a need for it and ran a full-time courier for the summer months,” she said.
“When we do run it, we have, so far, enough business to run just with one. We’ve just put in a bid with the city to try it again. I think people are getting more and more aware of our eco needs so I’m think it will just increase. We’re going to start with one and see where it goes.”
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