Purpose Podcast 028 — Franklin Jones (B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery): To Make Our Communities More Livable

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When you think of an urban core, what do you think of? Traffic? Congestion? Noise? With Franklin Jones’ vision for B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery, it doesn’t have to be that way. (See also my earlier episode featuring Rob Sadowsky of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.)  B-Line uses these amazing human-powered (electric assist) tricycles to make the “last-mile delivery” for their customers such as Portland Roasting Coffee, Dave’s Killer Bread, and Office Depot.  Instead of these companies needing to use huge gas-guzzling trucks that end up empty (and thus just taking up space) most of the time, these companies drop shop to B-Line’s warehouse where their goods are re-packed into these vehicles:

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  • Benefits to this model:
  • Less congestion because the vehicles are smaller and can often use bike infrastructure instead of car/truck infrastructure.
  • Less pollution because these are emissions vehicles.  They also use far less energy than an electric-powered truck would.
  • Stronger community because these riders are interacting with the public.  You can talk to them as they do their work (if you’re walking or on a bike).
  • Lower delivery costs because now smaller deliveries can be make economically.

In addition, they also pick up food that would normally go to waste from Whole Foods (using unused tricycle capacity that would normally go to waste on the way back to the warehouse) and deliver it to organizations serving hungry people.

Win, win, win!

How does your business model make an impact?

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