Initiative 46: Mode Shift Program

Mode Shift Program
Description: A shift of cargo flows from road to intermodal transport, using a combination of road and short sea shipping, inland waterways, rail or tricycles.
Targeted mode: Urban Deliveries Geographic scope: City, Area
Type of initiative: Freight Demand Management: Mode Shift Program Primary objective: Reduce congestion
Expected costs and level of effort to implement: Mode shift programs require the management and facilitation of information access and exchange between large and small, public and private stakeholders across all business sectors and transport modes. Public-sector capital investments are required to provide sufficient facilities to support flexible multi-modal transport. Depending of the scope of the program, the implementation cost could be moderate to high.

  • Energy savings
  • Reduce congestion
  • Reduce fuel consumption
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Enhance safety
  • Facilitate multimodal freight
  • Particularly appropriate for heavy and non-perishable goods

  • Low probability for unintended consequences:
    • May increase operational costs
  • Require specific city and regional conditions
    • Require integration of freight deliveries with current transportation system
    • Only feasible where additional modes are present
  • Require very high/high coordination among multiple stakeholders/jurisdictions
    • Require incentives to foster a mode shift

  • B- Line Sustainable Urban Delivery, Portland, Oregon
  • Freight-Tricycle Operations in New York City, USA (Kamga and Conway 2012)
  • “Cargo cycles” or electrically powered tricycles with a container implemented by La Petite Reine in Paris, France (TURBLOG 2009; C-LIEGE 2010)
  • “MOVEBYBiKE” in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Urban rail used by Monoprix in Paris, France to distribute their goods to the stores (C-LIEGE 2010)
  • Public transit used to move cargo: Greyhound Courier Express, Canada, USA; Matkahuolto, Finland; ic:kurier, Germany; A Way Express, Canada; Dabbawalas, India; CarGo Tram, Germany; Cargotram, Switzerland; Guterbim, Austria; Tramfret, France; City Cargo, The Netherlands; Garbage Subways, USA;San Diego Imperial Valley Railroad, USA (Cochrane 2012)

Sources: Kanga and Conway 2012


Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – CITE


Source: Cochrane 2012

Related alternatives: 1. Vehicle Size and Weight Restrictions; 2. Urban Consolidation Centers; 3. Receiver-Led Delivery Consolidation Program
References: MOSES 2001; C-LIEGE 2010; SUGAR 2011; Cochrane 2012; Kamga and Conway 2012

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