In an effort to reduce congestion and pollution on local streets, the city of Santa Monica and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator have partnered to try to create a zero emissions delivery zone, and officials are looking to enlist the help of nonprofits, businesses and anybody else who may have an idea on how to help.
LACI CEO Matt Petersen said the organization put out a Request for Information this week because it’s looking to identify low-impact delivery solutions that will eliminate dangerous emissions, reduce noise, and improve community safety.
With an eye on the Olympics in 2028, municipalities across Southern California have set specific goals that relate to increasing the number of electric cars and zero emission trucks on the road, according to Petersen.
“This is all about how we actually achieve those targets that we’ve set, because they are ambitious but achievable. We have a working group that’s focused on goods movement and primarily looks at those heavy-duty trucks that come in and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach before they head to our freeways to move goods from warehouses and beyond,” Petersen said. “But once those vehicles reach their destinations and the goods get on medium-duty trucks, we’re trying to find ways to reduce emissions in the neighborhood and throughout that process — that’s what we want to learn,” so the RFI was put out online.
“Other forms of transportation we’re looking at is package delivery to homes and businesses, which would be in those medium duty trucks. And we’re also looking at food delivery, which currently is primarily delivered by single passenger vehicles, but I think there are a lot of other forms of modalities that could be used. Perhaps a cargo bike,” Petersen added, mentioning companies like IKEA are currently attempting to incorporate more than 100 electric trucks to deliver furniture in the area. “So there’s a number of different ways we’re looking at how this could happen and we’re calling on all partners, whether it’s a major corporation, emerging startup or a nonprofit that has a solution to creating a zero emissions delivery zone.”
Specifically, those who have experience with: e-cargo bikes and other micromobility devices for the last mile delivery of goods; curb management; measurement and tracking solutions for noise and air pollution, traffic congestion, delivery volumes, telematics and enforcement; and any other innovative solutions that could help make a voluntary last mile delivery zone succeed, the RFI states.
Once proposals are received, Petersen said LACI will begin to test solutions and hopefully create a blueprint to a zero emissions delivery zone that could be adopted by other cities around the world.
“We had to pick one community to start with, and since Santa Monica was in front of the fray in terms of micromobility — that’s something that stood out. And it’s also a place where you’ve got that unique mix of residential and commercial density segments,” Petersen said. “So even though Santa Monica will be at the center of the work, it’s a project that everyone is going to learn from.”