Letter of Intent
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: 
Letter of Intent: 

UW Mailing Services Campus Sustainability Fund LOI
Electric Bicycle Mail Delivery Program

Define the campus environmental problem that you are attempting to solve:

University of Washington’s Mailing Services currently delivers mail and printed material to approximately 80,000 students, faculty, and staff on and off the Seattle campus. There are 12 conventional delivery vehicles performing 20 daily delivery routes that service the entire campus. These vehicles contribute to global warming by emitting carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The vehicles burn on average, 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year and release 96,000 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere (24 lbs. CO2 per gallon of fuel). Our research shows that replacing a vehicle with an electric assist cargo bicycle will have an immediate impact on the energy consumption, CO2 emissions, noise pollution, and vehicle congestion on the UW campus.

Describe your proposed solution to this problem:

Our goal is to make UW the first large university in the nation to address the issue of energy consumption reduction and climate change in mail services, by creating an E-Bicycle Mail & Package Delivery Program. We are proposing moving 210 daily mail stops, totaling 12 miles a day, to full bicycle delivery. This would involve the purchase of five electric assist bicycles, trailers, and all-weather bicycle shoes. After implementation of bicycle delivery on the main campus, we intend to incorporate the bicycles to expand the program to the entire campus and University District.

Vehicles currently in use are leased from UW Fleet Services at a cost of $50,000 per vehicle. As we reduce the need for diesel truck delivery, we will return the vehicles to Fleet Services. This will effectively free up extra money in the mailing services budget, and if unused, the money will be returned to the University’s central fund. UW Mailing Services has recently partnered with UW Creative Communications and UW Copy Services to provide delivery services of their printed materials as well. We would like to, whenever applicable, incorporate bicycles on these deliveries. If successful, we see eliminating one or two of the cargo vans currently in use for these routes.

What form and amount of student leadership will your project involve?

We will continue our collaboration with the students at UW Sustainability in creating an educational outreach campaign to inspire behavioral change within the UW community. This will involve the use of our metrics to create a "fun facts" media campaign to display on the sides of our new, highly visible electric cargo bicycles and trailers. These fun facts will include the current number of stops along the delivery route, the reduction in diesel fuel consumption, and the amount of CO2 saved as a result of switching to the bicycle delivery system. We hope to connect two UW students currently working for Mailing Services and Creative Communications with the ASUW Graphic Design Office. There they will receive assistance in creating eye-popping illustrations to display the project’s metrics.

Our project has an already established a partnership with the ASUW student-run Bike Shop to service and maintain the bicycles. This includes fixing spokes, rims, tires, and adjustments to the trailers holding the cargo boxes. We hope that once electric bicycles become more of the norm in the coming years, the shop will also be able to solve issues with the electric motors.

We are looking to make a connection with the Environmental Studies Department in order to include student involvement in tracking metrics for the project. Our goal is to conduct an ongoing carbon footprint analysis, detailing emission reductions from switching diesel trucks to electric bikes. This way we can keep track of the project’s success, and constantly update the metric graphics to display to the UW community.

Finally, the project has displayed student leadership with the help of a UW Senior majoring in Finance. After meeting with Douglas Stevens from Creative Communications and UW Mailing Services, he has helped to be the middleman between the time-pressed mailing services and other aspects of the project’s development. His work has involved obtaining more student engagement, working out the budget costs, and drafting up this letter of intent.

What amount of funds do you anticipate your project will require from the CSF?

We have already chosen the optimal model of the E-Bicycle we wish to implement based on range-per-charge and power necessary to support delivery cargo. The E-Assist Bullitt bicycles cost $6,000 per unit. The bikes would require an additional $6,000 in order to construct two alloy cargo boxes for the front and back of each bicycle[1]. With five bicycles in the fleet, this totals to $60,000.

All weather bicycle shoes would cost $100 a pair. We have a crew of 12 riders on our team, hence we would like $1,200 to fully prepare them for the elements.

Materials required to print and install graphics on the sides of the cargo boxes would cost $100 per unit. Again, this would be the mailing services logo, as well as fun facts about environmental footprint reductions. For the whole fleet, this would total $500.

The ASUW Bike Shop does not currently have the capability to repair motors on the bikes, so we are requesting additional funding for service warranties from the E-Assist Bullitt Company. Service agreements cost $500 a year per bicycle, and we would like to purchase three year warranties for the start of this project. This comes out to $7,500 to cover the entire fleet. We anticipate that the ASUW Bike Shop will have the capability to fully repair any problems with the E-Assist Bullitt bikes beginning in year 2020.

Adding up everything in our proposed budget, we are asking for a total grant of $69,200 to fully implement the E-Bicycle Mail Delivery System. We thank you for your consideration in our endeavor.

[1] This price also includes construction and installation of trailers to hold the boxes. We are working on involving students with this construction process, but as of now have received these cargo construction quotes from a local metal-working business.

Contact Information
Primary Contact First & Last Name: 
Kellan J. Kinney
Full Proposal
This will display after the CSF committee has reviewed and approved your LOI, and after you have received the link to edit your application.
Executive Summary: 

Our project involves replacing UW Mailing Service delivery trucks with five electric assist cargo bicycles complete with fully secured cargo boxes and trailers. This proposal entails restructuring our delivery methods to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the bicycles. Through incorporating our main operation in the Publications Building, located in the Southwest campus, as well as two additional satellite locations, we can utilize our resources cutting costs and emissions. We are currently running a light bicycle operation from one of those satellites which is located in the Communications Building on central campus. The other satellite will operate from our UW Tower Mailing Services platform.

Our proposed cost estimate is $77,798. This would allow us to purchase five electric assist bicycles with cargo carrying capacity, rider gear, project education, and bike maintenance. This funding will support a large reduction in energy consumption, carbon emissions, noise pollution, and vehicle congestion created by UW Mailing Services vehicles.

All metrics for the project will be measured and made available to the campus community via a vast public outreach campaign.

The project will be supported long-term by a joint team of Mailing Services employees and student interns. UW Mailing Services will assume the long-term maintenance costs associated with the project.

This proposal was developed by Dylan Been (Student Coordinator), as well as Douglas Stevens and Jeffrey Schwartz (UW Mailing Services).

Total amount requested from the CSF: 
$77 798
This funding request is a: 
ItemCost per ItemQuantityTotal Cost
Initial Costs for Bikes and Trailers
Cargo E-bike (w/ Extra Battery)$6,1245$30,620
Front and Rear Cargo Boxes6,000530,000
Surly Rear Trailers80032,400
Graphic Design125011250
Annual Maintenance Costs
E-bike full tune ups (3 Years)$3305$1650
2 Sets of Sintered Pads965480
Brake Rotors1045520
Bosch Chain-ring and O-Ring205100
Shift Cable and Housing305150
Set of Tires825410
Flat Tire Fixes755375
E-bike Rental During Maintenance1505750
Hydro Brake Maintenance405200
Warranty Process505250
Initial Costs for Riding Gear
Citizen Messenger Bag (Bike Courier)$1542$308
Garbage Barge Bag (Bike Courier)3842768
Rain Caps466276
Water Resistant Gloves926552
Courier Key Chain9546
Leg Strap17469
Waterproof Pants756448
Water Resistant Shoes19661,173
Utility Pouch1046621
Project Subtotal$74,093
Contingency Fee (5%)$3,705
Project Total$77,798
Project Completion Total: 
$77 798
Sustainability Impact: 
Energy Use
Sustainability Challenge: 

Delivery vehicles utilized by Mailing Services contribute to the environmental problems of global warming, climate change, noise pollution, and dependence on fossil fuels. Mailing Services vehicles burn both diesel and gasoline which release six metric tons of CO2 as well as other harmful toxins into the atmosphere. The size of the delivery vehicles and the noise of the internal combustion engines contribute to the problem of noise pollution and vehicle congestion on campus.

The implementation of cargo bikes to replace delivery trucks on campus will mitigate the environmental problems associated with vehicle delivery.

Explain how the impacts will be measured: 

To measure and quantify the benefits of our project we will be using the carbon footprint calculator from carbonfootprint.com to track the amount of CO2 emissions saved, and we will compare current fuel usage with those of previous years.

The carbonfootprint.com website allows us to enter the make, model, and year of each vehicle, as well as how many miles each vehicle travels. It then uses that data to formulate total emissions. There are currently three daily truck routes on central campus that, when combined, average 10.5 miles a day or 2,625 miles across campus annually. Additionally, there are two daily off-campus routes, which average 9 miles, or 2,250 miles annually. With those statistics in mind, the Mailing Services vehicles release 1.75 metric tons of CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere every year.

UW Mailing Services staff and student interns will track both fiscal and fuel savings. There will be monthly reports conducted, comparing current statistics with those of preceding months and years to quantify fuel saving. This information will be relayed to the project’s student coordinator, who will then add the statistics to the environmental metrics. The end goal of the metric tracking will be to show the University community the environmental and economic savings that come with a continued commitment to sustainability. Not only will our proposal show UW’s ongoing commitment to environmental preservation, it will also help the University’s unabating Climate Action Plan of 2005, to reduce the emission levels of 2005 by 15% before 2020.

Education & Outreach: 

Our main educational and outreach goal is to promote the benefits of alternative forms of transportation. We are going to achieve that goal by educating the campus community through our graphic design and media campaigns.

1) Graphic Design

  • CSF and educational “fun facts” posters/banners will be displayed on cargo bikes and trailers (CSF example included under Project Approval Forms)
  • Utilize Creative Communications Transit Messaging Program to promote the bicycle program and CSF on the sides of UW vehicles and inside the UW Husky Shuttle buses
  • Promote CSF at UW and Sustainability events

2) Media Campaign

  • Utilize the UW Daily for ad space. Encourage the Daily to do a front page feature on the cargo bikes and CSF involvement in the program
  • Utilize social media. Create Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts to promote the bike program and publish updates
  • Partner with UW Media Relations & Communications to create a regional/national press release. Encourage local media to do a story on CSF/Bike program. (KUOW, ABC, CBS, NBC, local affiliates, The Seattle Times, The Stranger)
  • Create informational page on UW Mailing Services web page


Student Involvement: 

Dylan Been, Foster School of Business 2017, is currently serving in the role of Student Coordinator and Project Facilitator. We have an agreement in place with the HUB Graphic Design Office where student employees will create the designs for our educational outreach material. We also have a set maintenance schedule with the student run ASUW Bike Shop in order to provide maintenance on the non-warrantied parts and accessories. In the future, we will recruit student team members who will manage the project long-term. This position will be filled either through an internship program offered by UW Mailing Services, or through Carlson Service Learners. Responsibilities will include maintaining project outreach, social media, and program metrics. The new team member will also aid Mailing Services in applying for additional grants as they expand their fleet of cargo bikes.

TaskTimeframeEstimated Completion Date
Phase 1: Mid-March - Mid-May 2017
Determine Amount of Funding ReceivedTBDMid-February - Early March
Submit Order for Bikes and Gear Based off Level of Funding1 WeekApril 1st, 2017
Submit Graphic Design Order to the HUB1 WeekApril 1st, 2017
Optimize Routes to Reduce Maximum Amount of Emissions2 WeeksApril 15th, 2017
Create Social Media Campaign for Program2 WeeksApril 15th, 2017
Develop Informational Page on Mailing Services Website1 MonthMay 1st, 2017
Hire Intern or Carlson Service Learner1 MonthApril 15th, 2017
Phase 2: Mid-May - June 2017
Receive Fully Equipped Models1.5 - 2 MonthsMay 15th - June 1st 2017
Install Logos on Sides of Cargo Boxes1 WeekMay 15th - June 1st 2017
First Bike Routes Begin, Metrics TrackedOngoingJune 1st, 2017
Feature Developed and Published for UW Daily2 WeeksJune 1st, 2017
Encourage Local Media to do Story on Program2 WeeksJune 1st, 2017
Phase 3: October 2017 - January 2018
Apply for More Funding if NeededTBDJanuary 26th, 2018
Continue Metric TrackingOngoingOngoing
First Diesel Vehicle ReturnedTBDDecember 31st, 2017
Intern Continues to Monitor ProgramOngoingOngoing
Submit New Graphic Design Order with Updated Metrics1 Week June 1st, 2018
Develop Method for Bike Storage on CampusTBDJune 1st, 2018
Mailing Services Takes over Financial ResponsibilityTBDMarch 15th, 2020
Additional Vehicles ReturnedTBDDecember 31st, 2018
Amount Awarded: 
Potential Funding Reductions: 
Reductions in funding will reduce the amount of E-bikes and cargo boxes we can purchase, as well as their associated maintenance costs. For every $13,126 less than our requested amount, we will have to cut a bike from the fleet. We would still like to purchase the three Surly trailers should we receive enough funding for three bikes. This will allow each E-bike to possess the capability of handling any route necessary. Each rider for Mailing Services has requested personal gear (Helmets, Pants, Shoes, etc.), so we will be unable to cut funding in that section of the budget. With $50,233 of funding, we will still be able to purchase all the components necessary to equip a three unit fleet, and still account for a 5% contingency fee should unexpected costs arise.
Project Longevity: 

Long-term management of the project will be handled jointly by Mailing Services employees and interns hired by the department. Duties will involve tracking environmental metrics as vehicles are replaced by cargo bikes, managing social media outlets, and presenting the project at CSF events. Interns will also work jointly with Mailing Services to provide project check-in reports to CSF. Routine maintenance on the bikes will be scheduled by Mailing Services. Additional funding to handle long-term maintenance will be provided by Mailing Services. These costs will include replacement parts and electric driveline issues following the conclusion of the three year warranty.

Project status: 
Active: Post-implementation phase