Jackson: How the Chicago Bike-Sharing Program Will Work

Divvy Bike Station Chicago Daley Plaza Photo

A Divvy bike station installed in Daley Plaza. (Photo/Mike Reilley)

Jackson IconThe Red Line Project

Updated: Monday, June 17, 2013

Gabe Klein, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation, told ABC7Chicago that Divvy’s concept is similar to that of ZipCar. Users buy a Divvy key fob for $75 a year, which gives them unlimited trips that are 30 minutes or less. Anything over 30 minutes requires an additional fee.
The key fob will unlock a bike at a solar-powered Divvy docking station located in the city. The city is planning 400 stations, 300 by the end of the summer. Many of them will be located near CTA stations, city attractions and other busy areas.
The web will play a big role in using the system. When Divvy launched its website on May 29, it gained 1,000 members in its first day. The program also is launching an app that will show where various stations will be located around the city.
Mayor Emanuel made the bike-sharing program a priority when he took office two years ago.
City officials hope Divvy creates a new transportation system in the city, much like trains and buses work with the CTA. The program will launch with 750 three-speed bikes painted “Chicago blue” this summer and hopes to have more than 4,000 by next summer.
The federally funded program targets commuters and tourists who want to make short point-to-point trips and opt to use bikes instead of cabs, buses or trains. CDOT officials hope the program will boost active transit for Chicagoan while reducing pollution and traffic congestion.
Paris started using a similar system in 2007, and Klein helped start Washington D.C.’s program, Capital Bikeshare, which was the largest in the world until New York took over that title. Bikes in D.C. and New York have sponsorship – Citibank sponsoring “Citibikes”. 
Transportation officials expect a large number of Chicago tourists will use the system to get to various city attractions, such as museums and Navy Pier. But they also expect residents will use the bikes to get to work, school and run quick errands.
New York kicked off a new bike-sharing program the first week of June, with Chicago and San Francisco both close behind. -- Mike Reilley

Divvy Bike Photo
A Divvy bike sits at a station on State and Randolph. (Photo/Mike Reilley)

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