The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has just announced that Chicago's new bike share system - Divvy - is ready to roll starting this June. The initial launch will feature approximately 75 solar-powered docking stations in downtown Chicago and the River North neighborhood. Over the year, the city is hoping to expand the system to 4,000 bikes at 400 neighborhood locations.
The system was named "Divvy" to reflect the nature of bike share, where members "divide and share" the use of bikes. The bicycles are painted "Chicago Blue"--don't let anyone tell you it's "Cubbie Blue". The distinctive blue color is the same as the stripes on Chicago's city flag.
The bikes, valued at $1200 each, are heavy-duty one-size fits all. Features include: upright handlebars, wide seats, hand brakes, and a chain guard to protect clothing plus headlights and taillights that automatically illuminate as the bike is pedaled.
Here's What You Need to Know to Get Started
Bike share systems are designed for short, quick trips--typically less than 2 miles--from point to point that allow users to control their own travel.
The Divvy system is scheduled to launch June 2013.
Bike Share stations will be placed at CTA and Metra stations, employment centers, shopping districts, medical centers, schools and other popular destinations. They will be located on sidewalks or on the street near the curb. Stations are wireless, solar powered and modular so that they can be easily installed. The Divvy service boundaries are roughly from 63rd Street to Devon Avenue, from Lake Michigan to California Avenue. There will be a Divvy app to help riders locate biking stations and bike availability.
Annual Membership will cost $75. A 24-hour pass is $7. Twenty-four hour pass holders and annual members may make as many trips 30-minute or less trips at no extra cost. Rides which last longer than 30-minutes will incur additional fees. The fees are minimal in the first additional half hour but escalate after that, so it's in your interest to get where you're going and re-dock the bike so someone else can use it.
Twenty-four hour passes may be purchased from any station kiosk using a credit or debit card. Annual members can enroll online and receive a personal key to use to unlock bikes from any station. Bikes can be returned to any station anywhere in the system.
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