Inside Logistics

Pilot project testing eco-friendly last mile

Montréal initiative will partner courier companies and emissions-free transport in the core


September 19, 2019
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MONTRÉAL – An eco-friendly urban delivery pilot project has started up on the site of the former Montréal bus station on Boulevard De Maisonneuve Est between Rue Berri and Rue Saint-Hubert. Dubbed ‘Colibri’, it aims to improve quality of life in the city centre by reducing the impacts of “last mile” delivery by replacing trucks with more efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly vehicles.

Starting in this month, several methods of package delivery using electric cargo bicycles will be tested in collaboration with partners Chasseurs Courrier; Courant Plus; La roue libre; LVM Livraison; and, Purolator.

“We are proud to partner with the Ville de Montréal and introduce two e-cargo bikes that have the potential to revolutionize urban delivery, ” said John Ferguson, president and CEO, Purolator. “They reduce traffic congestion, easily navigate in urban areas and completely eliminate emissions. This project is part of our $1B ‘delivering the future’ investment plan.”

The Borough will also explore other innovative urban delivery possibilities with private and institutional partners. The experimental mobility hub on the site of the former bus station will make it possible to assess the effectiveness of these new modes of freight transit. The transitional project will also help to revitalize the sector pending completion of the mixed project planned on the site.

The site will include a kiosk made from recycled containers off Boulevard De Maisonneuve Est. Currently used as a rest area for delivery personnel, the kiosk will become a mobility showcase that is open to all. BIXI bicycles and self-service car2go and Communauto cars will be available near the kiosk, making it a full-fledged mobility hub for residents. The delivery partners will operate at the back of the building, near Ruelle de la Providence.

Colibri is being carried out in collaboration with Ville de Montréal’s Economic Development Department and Jalon mtl, an organization specializing in sustainable and smart mobility. This eco-friendly urban delivery pilot project is part of the local transportation plan presented in the fall of 2019, as well as the Bâtir Montréal plan of the City’s Economic Development Strategy.

“I’m excited about this innovative new project supported by partners interested in testing tomorrow’s more environmentally friendly delivery solutions,” said Valérie Plante, mayor of Montréal and the Arrondissement de Ville-Marie.

“The Colibri project will not only support our city’s shift to a greener future, but also help improve the safety of road users by limiting the number of trucks in the city centre. Montréal is emerging as a leading logistics laboratory, and I’m very proud of that!”

“Jalon mtl is delighted to support the Colibri project. For almost two years now, our team has been working on urban logistics issues with a great deal of interest,” said Jean-François Tremblay, president and CEO of Jalon mtl.

“Accelerating innovation in urban logistics is key to moving our society towards a more sustainable form of shared mobility. In this regard, the innovation platform provided by Colibri will allow us to test concrete solutions for the movement of goods.”