General Cycling Discussion - Advice on getting a job as bike courier?
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07-22-10, 12:37 PM
I'm a 19 y/o female from Philly and I could use some advice on getting a job around here as a bike courier... I called a bunch of places but nobody seems to be hiring!
Does anyone have any advice for someone without any connections or previous experience to get into this line of work? I heard a lot of negative things about the job but honestly I would love to do it... and I know I could handle it. It's stressful, dangerous, fast-paced... it's my kinda job.
So any messengers have advice?
07-22-10, 07:01 PM
How hard did you look? I found this in about 60 seconds.
07-22-10, 10:42 PM
At least around here, the couriers are gone. We're not a very big city (Reno, Nev, 150,000 people or so), and they just had a flurry of popularity before email and other electronic communication did them in. Plus our downtown is only about a half-mile square--when lawyers interact, they walk down to the corner and do it over coffee. Might be different in a big city like Philly, but all the couriers I did a story about three years ago (I was a newspaper reporter) are doing something else now.
07-23-10, 05:39 PM
I did it for a few years in Philly. Velo Dog is right though, the fax machine and email pretty much did it in. There might still be some call for delivering court papers, architectural drawings, or something like that, but the biz is gone from what it once was. Philly was a nice sized downtown for that kind of job, although there were occasions - I was sent to City Line Avenue twice in one day.
There are still some in NYC, but nowhere near the numbers there once were.
07-24-10, 05:43 AM
There are about four here in HNL, and they almost exclusively serve architects and suchlike.
I've often felt like they should find a way to branch out -- fetch car keys, do light erranding, that kinda thing. Anyways.
07-24-10, 07:38 AM
Start a dog exercise business.
07-24-10, 08:05 AM
Around here, ( Calgary ) they still seem to be useful, or a nuisance depending on your viewpoint. Still a fair number around, though they seem to be getting scarcer. I've notice that a greater percentage of those left have started using cargo bikes or trailers of one sort or another. One of the courier companies had even started sourcing their own utility trailer. ( Might ask where they get them, looks useful ) I don't know if this is simply the individual courier looking to increase their revenue, or if it's being pushed by the companies.
I wouldn't expect it to be a great money spinner, if you're good, and efficient, you can make a living at it, but you're going to have to work all the angles, do your own maintenance, claim everything possible against tax, source cheap parts etc.
One reason I have toyed with the idea myself, is that in Canada, you can claim $17 of food everyday you work, as fuel. I kinda like the idea of having your food as a tax break.
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