In the famously bike-friendly city of Portland, Oregon, UPS is jumping on the cycling bandwagon. The delivery service debuted a pilot program to ferry packages to recipients via electric bikes, according to The Oregonian. A similar UPS program has already been tested in Germany, but this is UPS's first version in the U.S.

UPS already sends its couriers out on regular bikes during the crush of holiday deliveries. Using bicycles saves money on fuel and vehicle upkeepā€”at the inception of the holiday bike program in 2008, UPS spokesperson Jeff Grant told Bike Portland that every three bicycle messengers would save the company an estimated $38,000 in truck upkeep costs.

The electric bikes will allow couriers to carry more packages over a larger area than they could on regular bikes, and saves time that truck drivers would otherwise spend trying to find parking. The company plans to use them year-round.

[h/t The Oregonian]

All images courtesy UPS