Amazon has made two key hires to its e-bike delivery team in New York City, including a former Uber manager, signaling it may be looking at the technology as another way to offer faster delivery times.
Alex Vickers joined Amazon in June to serve as a senior program manager on the company’s electric bikes unit. He previously worked on the business development team at Jump, an e-bike rental company which was Uber acquired in 2018 and then sold to mobility start-up Lime in May. Vickers announced his move to Amazon in a LinkedIn post on Monday.
Amazon also hired Justin Ginsburgh in June to lead the e-bike team. Prior to Amazon, Ginsburgh co-founded New York City’s Citi Bike bikeshare service and had leadership roles at JetBlue and Lyft-owned bikeshare service Motivate, where he worked alongside Vickers.
Both Vickers and Ginsburgh are based in New York City. It’s unclear how many employees are working on Amazon’s e-bike team, which is overseen by Amazon’s last-mile delivery unit, or what Amazon’s plans are for the technology. Representatives from Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The recent hires indicate Amazon may be looking to e-bikes as another mode of transportation for last-mile delivery, the process of picking up packages from delivery stations and dropping them off at doorsteps, which is a critical and costly piece of the logistics puzzle for Amazon.
Amazon has invested heavily to expand its last-mile delivery capabilities, launching Amazon-branded vans and a network of contracted Flex drivers, as well as testing self-driving delivery robots and a fleet of delivery drones. It has also opened up hundreds of delivery stations across the country over the past few years, which help ensure its two-day, and increasingly one-day, delivery speeds.
Amazon has experimented with bike delivery before. It tested, then later shut down, bike delivery for its Prime Now delivery service in Seattle and New York City.
The company has also been testing electric cargo bikes for Whole Foods deliveries in New York City since last December, as part of a city-run pilot program aimed at easing congestion and reducing dependence on cargo vans for deliveries. Amazon continues to grow the team working on cargo bike delivery in New York City, according to a job listing posted in August.
Other companies like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates and Grubhub, use bike couriers in New York City, but they’re largely limited to food deliveries.