- Portland, Oregon, will launch a "Zero-Emission Delivery Zone" pilot to incentivize deliveries through more sustainable modes of transportation, according to the city's Bureau of Transportation.
- Through the pilot, diesel and gas-powered delivery trucks can transfer goods to zero-emissions transportation options like electric vehicles, which can then make deliveries at three zero-emissions loading zones outside government buildings in the city's downtown.
- On-street changes aren't expected to be made until early 2024, per the Bureau of Transportation's Twitter account. Portland received nearly $2 million earlier this year through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants program to fund the project.
For Portland, the delivery zone project aligns with its climate-related values in reducing emissions and improving public health, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT).
"These delivery loading zones are located in an area anchored by public-sector institutions, including several city, county, and federal offices—all of which have strong commitments to taking climate action," its website says.
The zone is off-limits to gas-powered vehicles for loading and unloading, with violators being subject to a parking citation, a Bureau of Transportation spokesperson told KGW in Portland. The loading zones are planned to be outside three government buildings in the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, the Multnomah County Courthouse and the Portland Building. Loading zone locations may change based on stakeholder feedback in the project's initial steps.
"As of May 2023, PBOT anticipates that any changes to truck loading zones would occur in spring 2024," according to its website.
The bureau noted that delivery vehicles using fossil fuels will still be able to travel into and through the pilot project area, park in regular metered spaces, use on-site loading bays or park at existing truck loading zones outside the pilot area.
The loading zones will be tested for six to nine months as data from logistics companies, sensors and third-party analytics firms is collected. The city will present a pilot project report with any recommended next steps.
"If desirable, PBOT may then apply for a Stage Two SMART grant for up to $15 million to build on pilot project success and lessons learned," it said.
Portland isn't the only city rethinking the delivery process. New York City recently announced plans to test local delivery hubs this summer to reduce emissions and traffic.