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Project Type
SEMPACT Research
Project Dates
09/01/2023 - 08/31/2024
Project Status

Rapid urbanization in cities like New York City (NYC) has spurred an overwhelming surge in consumer demand, with a consequential 80% of deliveries now aimed at residential customers. Predominantly facilitated by trucks, which account for 90% of deliveries, this has detrimentally impacted air quality, traffic congestion, and overall life quality. In response, NYC has initiated the concept of micro-distribution centers or microhubs—spaces designed to transition deliveries from larger trucks to sustainable modes such as electric vehicles or cargo cycles. On December 24, 2021, legislation mandated the Department of Transportation (DOT) to initiate interest in these centers, aiming for a pilot program by late 2023.

NYC's ambition revolves around six strategic goals: sustainability, public safety, operational efficiency, air and noise quality improvement, delivery worker safety, and utilization of public spaces. The pilot program is part of the broader "New" New York Plan, commencing in 2023 with 20 microhub sites, followed by an expansive phase in 2024. Key research questions include tailoring the program to stakeholders, assessing its multifaceted impacts, and leveraging insights for city-wide policy decisions. The program resonates with SEMPACT's emphasis on green supply chains and USDOT's strategic goals, encompassing economic strength, equity, climate mitigation, and transformative innovation. Literature indicates that microhub pilot projects globally employ quantitative (traffic reduction, environmental impact, operational efficiency) and qualitative (stakeholder feedback) evaluation methods. Examples like the CurbFlow Pilot in Washington, DC, and the Amazon Last Mile Logistics Hub in London illustrate tangible results in double-parking reduction and CO2 emission decrement, respectively.

The proposed evaluation methodology for NYC's Microhub Pilot Program is multilayered. Initial steps encompass refining the evaluation plan by selecting representative pilot sites and refining performance metrics. Data collection will utilize passive techniques, deploying cameras and GPS loggers for visual and trajectory data, complemented by noise monitoring. Qualitative data will be amassed via interviews and surveys, with initial feedback from all involved stakeholders, encompassing freight operators, technology and vehicle providers, and community partners. The finale portion involves meticulous data processing, visualization, and analysis to discern trends, patterns, and anomalies.