With names like “Aero,” and “City Sprint” bike messengers have been delivering small parcels, business and legal documents since the bicycle was invented. Western Union even had a livery of “telegraph boys” who delivered messages in San Francisco. Bike messengers are local couriers for population dense areas, where travel by car is difficult or traffic makes quick deliveries impossible. Parking costs in large metro areas, can also cause problems for quick delivers here and there about town.
While it is increasingly easy to email clients important documents, which are crisp and clear, it is not always possible to file completed legal papers with the various courts via email. Many businesses and law practices depend on the quick delivery time and expertise of bike messengers.
With a traditional truck or car based courier service parking and parking fees cut into delivery time and profits, a bike messenger bikes right up to the client's building or courthouse, zipping in and out of traffic and around traffic tie ups with ease. Bike messengers, for a long time, have had the lock on the same day courier market. With more and more business spreading out over metro areas and taking up residence in suburban locations, there has been a decline in the need for bike messengers. Increasing acceptance of electronic communication by the courts and other public entities, the number of bike messengers has shrunk, but in the communities they serve, they are still known for their quick if not quirky same day delivery services.
Small shops, like groceries, pharmacies, and other small businesses are turning to bike messengers to get their products to their customers quickly. In large cities it is not uncommon to see a three wheeled bike with a small cart being pulled behind it. Same day delivery service via bike messenger or bike courier services are a green alternative and bike messenger or bike delivery services are not bound by the delays caused by downtown construction projects and traffic jams.
While many people remember seeing bike messengers depicted in cinema as dare devils and stunt riders, with flashy traffic moves, most bike messengers are safe riders, equipped with up to the date bikes, a lock and their now famous and urban fashion statement, messenger bag. In some cities advanced bike safety training is required to be a bike messenger, as is a helmet. In other areas, the bike messengers work as independent contractors, providing their own bikes and safety gear.
Bike messengers are an important part of how businesses move information from place to place. While electronic communication has drastically changed how businesses communicate with each other and their customers, what hasn't change is if a business needs documents moved across town and quick, a bike messenger is one of the many cross town courier services available to get the job done.