7 Questions For Marcus Miller Of Center City Delivery

Photo: Stephen Jackson/Hoodline
By Stephen Jackson - Published on May 25, 2014.
Center City Delivery is a bike messenger and same-day courier service that serves the entire city of San Francisco and the Bay Area at large. Started by Marcus Miller in 2011, the company has grown from a small bike messenger service focusing on the Western Addition (their first client was actually Little Star) to a comprehensive courier organization that is also able to do same-day deliveries via truck to pretty much anywhere in the Bay. His fleet consists of 11 seasoned bike messengers, along with a handful of independent contractors, and can deliver just about anything you need within a few hours. 

We caught up with Marcus to find out a bit more about the 13-year Western Addition resident’s passion for package delivery. 

1. What’s the last thing you delivered? 

 $300 worth of tuna, across the city. 

2. What’s the most intense thing that’s ever happened to you on a bike? 

I’ve knocked my teeth out, and I’m still missing them. I’ve also punctured my kidney and cracked my ribs. All of them were fairly traumatic experiences. 

3. What makes a “good” bike messenger “great”? 

Routing. Knowing how to navigate your terrain and knowing your city. Speed doesn’t matter. Great messengers have great routing skills. 

4. What made you become a bike messenger? 

I toured Japan on a bike back in 2009 with a bunch of friends. When I got back I was unemployed and was just riding my bike everyday. I was doing the Paradise Loop up in Marin, like 70 to 100 miles a day, trying to upkeep that momentum from Japan. I decided to become a bike messenger and contacted my friend. He told me where to go and what to bring and I landed my first job. I worked a few other companies for a few years and then I started Center City. 

5. How has the bike messenger community and industry changed since you started? 

There’s a lot of companies based in tech. The game’s not the same anymore. Realistically, it changed from an industry that dealt with paper pushing to an industry that deals with delivering anything. A lot of companies have apps now. We still use the telephone, because it’s easier in many cases. There’s not as much human interaction nowadays and I still appreciate it, and I think our customers do too. 

6. What’s the best neighborhood to do deliveries? The worst? 

The best is this one [the Western Addition]. I gotta lot of love for this area. The worst is probably Pac Heights. It can be pretty grueling. But I still get a kick out of it. Ultimately, though, I just love this city. We ride bikes around for a living. I don’t think there’s any aspect of that that’s bad. 

7. What’s the future for the bike messenger industry? 

Aw man, there won’t be one once the drones take over. We have no future.

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