Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay canvasses for bike couriers

The city of Thunder Bay wants to hear from a local company interested in providing a green courier service.

Green courier service could help Thunder Bay reduce its carbon footprint

The city of Thunder Bay wants to hear from a local company interested in providing a green courier service.

Dan Munshaw, manager of supply management for the city, came up with the idea to use a bike, electric vehicle or public transit-based courier for transporting city documents.

Munshaw said it would help shrink the city's carbon footprint.

"What I'm trying to do is promote better planning [when] our order pattern isn't an emergency," he said.

"We can allow for multiple days for delivery [with] … scheduled routes, scheduled pickups and dropoffs."

Munshaw said there's been very little interest in providing the service so far.

'Quite doable'

But a spokesperson for EcoSuperior, an organization that supports green initiatives in the city, said the idea is feasible.

"You know, with a little knowledge there are some good routes across town, and it's not that big of a city," Ellen Mortfield said.

"It's quite doable, I think, to provide a service in this size of a community."

If bike couriers can work in large cities such as Toronto, the concept can also work in Thunder Bay, Mortfield added.

Munshaw said he informally looked for a company to provide the service last summer, and put a more formal notice on the city’s website about a month or so ago.

Using a bike, an electric car or public transit would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and likely save money, he said.

"If we can plan our needs better, it may drive cost savings," he said. "It certainly should allow us to do business in a much more economical manner."

Munshaw is still waiting for applicants.

Last summer, Zoom Courier used bikes to transport parcels in town, but Munshaw said he hasn’t heard anything yet about that service returning.