Why a Portland Domino’s Started Delivering Pizza By Trike

As bicycling has come to account for a greater share of trips in Portland, the shift is also noticeable among deliveries and cargo hauling.

A Dominos francise in Portland is delivering pizza by bike. Photo: Bike Portland

Scott Kealer’s Domino’s franchise in Portland has started delivering pizza by cargo trike. Photo: Bike Portland

While delivering pizza by bike is not exactly new, Michael Andersen at Bike Portland offers a great example of why it makes sense for businesses to get stuff done using human-powered vehicles:

Cheap, fast and classy, cargo bikes and trikes have been in use for years from Old Town Pizza to Good Neighbor Pizzeria. Last fall, Scott Kealer did the math and decided his downtown Portland Domino’s Pizza franchise should join their ranks.

“I’ve got a corporate name on the front of the door that says ‘Domino’s,’ but it’s really my pizza shop,” said Kealer, owner of the local store on 4th Avenue near Portland State University.

“We’ve been kicking the idea around for a year or two,” said Robert Ricker, the weekday manager. “Depending on who’s pedaling, it can be faster than a car… Maintenance has been low on it and it’s really helped out in a pinch.”

Unlike the delivery cars, which are owned by Kealer’s delivery workers, Kealer’s franchise owns and maintains the trike itself. Kealer saves $1.15 per delivery in compensation for his drivers, and people delivering by trike don’t have to worry about crashes, parking tickets or wear and tear on their own cars.

It’s a similar calculation to the one made by the Portland Mercury when, last year, one of their delivery truck drivers successfully pitched them on a plan to switch to bike delivery on the inner west side.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Urbanophile reports that the state of Indiana is trying to fudge the numbers when it comes to the boondoggle Ohio River Bridges Project. The FABB blog relays advice from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Local governments need to do more to encourage cycling. And Copenhagenize dives into the question of why the city’s cyclists are the world’s best behaved.