FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Bike Messengers are Victims of Technology

They survived fax machines and FedEx, but it appears that the golden era of the urban bicycle messenger has passed. Blame e-mail and high-speed Internet connectivity that allows businesses to work sans paper.

Over the past few years, messenger services in major US cities have cut back the number of cyclists on their payrolls. Even in New York, which has more bike messengers than any other city, the two largest messenger services have cut their rosters by more than half.

Bike messengers can still find a niche for their services, such as delivering fabric samples in New York's garment district, and documents that must be hand-signed. But even those die-hards are facing increased competition from car-based courier services. Perhaps with gas prices going up, bike messengers may get one last gasp.

Source: AP (Excite)