Mobility Network Executive Director Dr. Judy Farvolden deputed to the City of Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee on item IE30.12 in support of a “pilot project of up to eighteen (18) months to provide on-street curb-side access to a logistics mini-hub to operate in a parking layby on the west side of St. George Street in the vicinity of 60 St. George Street” at their meeting May 25, 2022.
“The St. George Mini-hub Pilot study project is one of 24 projects in CLUE: City Logistics for the Urban Economy, a five-year project funded by the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. CLUE is led by Professor Matt Roorda and involves ten researchers from U of T, McMaster University and York University.
“Transportation Services is participating in several CLUE projects that align with the Freight and Goods Movement Strategy and the City of Toronto’s Vision Zero, emissions reductions, and congestion management goals.
“The item before the committee “On-Street Logistics Mini-hub Pilot on St. George Street” is one of those projects. It supports those goals and represents progress towards two of the seven recommendations in the Freight and Goods Movement Strategy.
“The St. George Mini-hub Pilot study will 1) test the value of allowing motor assisted bicycles to have heavier, throttle operated electric motors and 2) explore business arrangements with courier companies to pilot the use of pick-up and drop-off locations in repurposed parking spaces, in this case, on St. George Street.
“In this pilot study, Purolator Courier will replace delivery trucks in the study area with e-cargo tricycles operating from the ‘microhub’ on St George Street.
“The study area is Bathurst on the west to Bay Street on the east, Bloor Street on the North to College Street on the south.
“U of T is facilitating access to power for the hub and leading the collaborative research project.
“Over the course of the 18-month study, CLUE researchers will collect data on package deliveries, electricity charging, routes used, and parking tickets received, monitor the pilot project for performance, costs, safety and sustainability and interview Purolator truck and e-cargo tricycle drivers, micro-hub staff and other key stakeholders.
“St. George Mini-hub Pilot study is an excellent example of university-industry-government collaborative pilot studies to explore novel practices in a planned and controlled way that results in evidence that can inform future decision making.
“Purolator’s intention is to deliver more efficiently and sustainably, with reduced pedestrian conflicts and truck parking and traffic impacts. The project is expected to demonstrate the potential for e-cargo tricycle deliveries from similar hubs across downtown Toronto, and potentially other locations in Canada. This pilot is therefore an opportunity for the City of Toronto to showcase its leadership in addressing congestion, climate and safety issues.
“And so, the St George Street mini-logistics hub also furthers “adaptability,” the seventh of the seven goals of the Freight and Goods Movement Strategy. “Adaptability” is the ability to identify, anticipate and adapt to emerging trends, innovations and risks affecting the freight and goods movement industry. It is an excellent example of collaborative work being undertaken to identify, anticipate and adapt to emerging trends, innovations and risks affecting the freight and goods movement industry.
“We look forward to this project, to reporting the results in 18 months, and to future opportunities to support the City in achieving its goals for equitable, sustainable and prosperous mobility.” – Dr. Judy Farvolden
By Pat Doherty
Read: Agenda Item History IE30.12.
Read: “Toronto may be getting a cool new solution to missing your package deliveries,” BlogTO, May 25, 2022.