Portland Launches Groundbreaking ‘Zero-Emission Delivery Zone’ Pilot to Revolutionize Sustainable Transportation

Portland, Oregon’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is launching a “Zero-Emission Delivery Zone” pilot to incentivize deliveries through more sustainable modes of transportation. The project is funded by an approximate US$2 million as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants program.

Stage One of the pilot involves the use of zero-emissions transportation options – such as local fleets of electric-assist cargo trikes, electric vehicles, or electric trucks  – to take deliveries of goods from diesel and gas-powered delivery trucks and then deliver them to three zero-emissions loading zones outside government buildings in the city’s downtown.  PBOT will also use grant funds to incentivize the movement of these “clean goods” by partnering with an existing logistics company to facilitate the process. This process means that delivery vehicles that still use fossil fuels will continue to be able to travel into and through the pilot project area, park in regular metered spaces, use on-site loading bays, or park nearby at existing truck loading zones outside of the pilot project area. ​Stage One will run for 18 months.  

PBOT will then evaluate the impact of the Zero-Emission Delivery Zone from several data sources including logistics companies, sensors, and third-party analytics companies. If the assessment of outcomes is favorable, it will then apply for a Stage Two SMART grant for up to US$15 million.  

With this project, Portland will become the first U.S. city to pilot implementation of a regulated Zero-Emission Delivery Zone. PBOT submitted this grant in collaboration with the Open Mobility Foundation (OMF) and a collective of eight cities and counties, all focused on using digital curb information to reduce congestion, enhance livability, and improve safety and equity on local streets. The members of the collaborative who all received SMART grants include the cities of Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Miami-Dade County.