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bike messenger service Archive - TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

Archive for the ‘bike messenger service’ Category

Bike Couriers: Not Just a Job, a Lifestyle

The life of a bike messenger is one dangerous, adrenaline fueled ride. Exerting their bodies to their fullest potential to chase a lifestyle and means of living, from one side of the city to another.

I got the opportunity to speak with two courageous founders of bicycle delivery services, one based in the Midwest and the other on the East Coast, about how they got started, the inspiration that keeps them going, and some of their weirdest deliveries.

mess kollective

Aias Cienfuegos founded Mess Kollective in New York City with two friends in 2008. While he’d originally planned to retire into web design after being a bike messenger for 17 years and risking life and limb every day for very little money, he decided that he wanted to leave the industry a little better than what he’d found it.

Aias decided on founding a worker-owned cooperative, with the messengers sharing decision-making and profits, instead of a traditional corporate structure. Mess Kollective was the first messenger cooperative in New York City, and their existence soon led to two other cooperatives starting up in the city. They were featured on a short-lived reality series called Triple Rush, which led to the inspiration of their business model being replicated in cities such as Toronto, Austin, San Francisco, Chicago, and Minneapolis (and even inspired a full-length feature film, Premium Rush).

BasiL

Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Peter DiAntoni was working as a freelance photographer and creative director/publisher of COG Magazine. After running a feature story on TCB Courier service in San Francisco, Peter was inspired to start his own food delivery service in Milwaukee, named Flavor Cycle.

Two years later, Flavor Cycle has over 20 riders and averages around 80 deliveries per day, from restaurants all over the city.

It takes a unique type of person to fulfill the role of a bike messenger. Someone that is willing to show up to work each day, ready to risk their life combatting heavy traffic and extreme weather conditions. Whether they’re inspiring messengers all over the country to create their own employment, or getting to know the city and its citizens more intimately, the bike messenger certainly has a rare, fulfilling and action packed job.

Then, there are the deliveries.

Aias from Mess Kollective is hesitant to name the craziest thing he has ever delivered, as New York City has minimal limits when it comes to bike deliveries. Although, that 80 lbs. of vodka he had to carry on his back may have been the most painful.

Flavor Cycle’s founder recalled a time when he was asked to deliver 32 pizzas strapped to a cargo bike, which they rode directly into the elevator and unloaded directly into a community college meeting room.

When asked what valuable lessons they’ve learned through the creation of their companies, both founders had some great messages to share about the importance of the riders as one team, or one unit.

mess kollective 2

“One of the most important lessons learned from my journey into building Mess Kollective is that a company is only as good as its people. Happy satisfied messengers are happy satisfied workers, and that ensures quality and professionalism in everything we do; this is one of the things that sets our company apart from others. The level of service that we provide is hard to match because of the pride that we have in our work.” – Aias Cienfuegos

FLAVORcycle_IMG_4108

“The job offers many freedoms and everyone involved needs to figure things out and think quick during peak rushes. I’m most often amazed at what we can accomplish as a team. It’s truly humbling.” – Peter DiAntoni

How Mess Kollective uses Dwolla

Always looking for a way to streamline things at Mess Kollective, Aias saw how they could eliminate credit card processing fees using Dwolla, and immediately jumped on it. Later, he realized that it would greatly simplify payroll, so they stopped using cheques to payout messengers and have been happily using Dwolla for their payroll ever since.

How Flavor Cycle uses Dwolla

Flavor Cycle uses Dwolla to pay out rider tips acquired through Square Card reader transactions, and also monthly shift pay. The more transactions they put through Dwolla, the more they save in traditional bank fees.

©2017 TransSwipe

 


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