Amazon.com Inc. suspended rider training on a new three-wheeled cargo e-bike to be used for package delivery in New York City after one toppled onto its side last week during a practice session, according to people familiar with the matter.
Whole Foods Market, which is owned by Amazon, already uses two-wheeled cargo e-bikes to deliver groceries from three stores in the city. The three-wheeled customized cargo bikes are for a new program yet to launch. It isn’t known if the suspension of the training will delay the program’s start.
“We always put safety first and conduct rigorous testing before launching any new program, and we look forward to launching this one as soon as we’re ready,” said Alexandra Miller, an Amazon spokeswoman. The company said it wished the rider whose bike flipped a speedy recovery.
The rider was among about 10 people participating in a training program conducted by Bike New York, an education and advocacy group. Bike New York expected to train more than 200 riders on the cargo bikes over the next few months, the people familiar with the matter said.
Ken Podziba, president and chief executive of Bike New York, said: “We knew all along that this safety program was part of Amazon’s rigorous testing and that this innovative e-cargo bike would not hit the streets of NYC unless it was 100% safe enough to do so.”