January 28, 2011 / 12:08 AM / 8 years ago

Portland city government has paper delivered by trike

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Officials in Portland are having paper and office supplies delivered on giant tricycles to cut out harmful tailpipe emissions, the city said on Thursday.

Under a deal signed last week with Office Depot, the company is subcontracting with a local firm called B-Line that has riders pedal giant tricycles mounted with cargo containers.

It’s in those cargo containers that B-Line riders are carrying the Office Depot supplies, to nine city offices in the traffic-congested downtown area.

“It’s important for the city of Portland to set an example and be a leader to other businesses in the Portland area and use sustainable business practices whenever possible,” Mayor Sam Adams said in a statement.

B-Line fields six riders on the rickshaw-style cargo trikes, which can each carry up to 800 pounds of cargo, according to the company.

It’s not all huffing and puffing for the company’s riders. If they get bogged down from fatigue, a zero-emission electric engine on the trike gives them a boost, said Franklin Jones, B-Line founder and chief executive.

Delivering cargo by trike might be a novel concept, but Portland has long been known as a bike-crazy city, where all sorts of commuters, from lawyers to store clerks, pedal along on specially dedicated lanes.

Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis

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