Here is a great article from Wired Magazine taking a thoughtful look at NYC bike messengers adapting to the new trends in technology which also threaten their livelihoods. The article features couriers Austin Horse and Wild Bill Meier (on the road since 1982) and Samurai messenger company owner, Josh Weitzner.
Bike Messengers Pedal Past Bandwidth in Data Race
by Bryan Derballa–April 25, 2011
Digital files, cloud computing and accelerating broadband have long put bike messengers on the endangered species list. No matter how fast a messenger is, even a triple rush canâ€™t compete with instantaneous. For messengers, technology is more of a threat than wily cab drivers and potholes.
But, oddly, technology is also what keeps them around. The evolution of software and mobile phones has allowed some messenger companies to work in autonomous cells, rather than as an overhead-heavy hierarchy. A central headquarters is now obsolete, and profit-sharing employees take turns dispatching and making runs.
Read more here.