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Susan Hofer 312.742.2006 | Susan.Hofer@cityofchicago.org
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that Divvy, Chicago’s popular bike share program, has completed its second major expansion, adding 85 new bike stations and pushing its boundaries to serve new neighborhoods focused on the South and West sides of the city. Divvy now has more than 580 stations and 5,800 bikes available. Stations within Chicago’s city limits serve nearly two-thirds of the city’s population and cover more than 100 square miles.
“New stations, here and in communities across the city, give every resident an opportunity to participate in and enjoy the benefits of bicycling in Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Divvy provides a healthy, affordable way for Chicagoans to get to jobs and schools while exercising and having fun. This expansion joins our growing network of safe bicycle lanes in demonstrating our commitment to keeping residents on the move and improving the quality of life throughout Chicago.
Divvy, which is owned by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and operated by the bike share company Motivate International, Inc., has completed a second major expansion since it was launched in 2013. New stations have been installed in neighborhoods including Austin and Garfield Park on the west side; Burnside, Chatham, Greater Grand Crossing, Brighton Park and Englewood on the south side; and Rogers Park on the far north side. Divvy has increased its service area from 86 square miles to over 100 square miles in Chicago and will have increased the city’s population served from 56 percent to 63.8 percent, or 1.73 million people.
To celebrate the increased access to Divvy Bike Share stations Motivate has partnered with Sanpellegrino® Sparkling Fruit Beverages to provide free bike share rides in major cities across the nation to help celebrate the launch of its new app—Delightways. Sanpellegrino® brings free rides to Chicago this weekend, July 16-17th.
To give Divvy a try this weekend, follow two easy steps:
“If you and your friends want to give Divvy a try, this is the weekend to do it,” Elliot Greenberger, General Manager of Divvy said. “Every weekend, we have thousands of people who ride Divvy and discover the joy of biking around Chicago. As we’ve been expanding to new Chicago parts of Chicago and suburbs, we hope that Chicagoland will take advantage of the free ride weekend to explore new neighborhoods.”
Delightways is an interactive app which helps locals and visitors alike to explore their cities while discovering unique places to visit and cool things to do along the way. Partnering with Foursquare and local businesses, the app curates thousands of local attractions people love. As opposed to mapping the most direct route to the specified destination, Delightways guides users on a wandering path dotted with unexpected and inspiring stops, such as parks, food trucks, markets and boutiques, museums and street art murals. Then whenever you want to wander, Delightways uses these spots to map a custom path to your destination.
“Working with such an innovative and exciting partner like Divvy really aided in bringing the Delightways app launch to life,” Tony Vizioli, Marketing Manager of Italian Brands, Nestle Waters North America Inc said. “Bike share offers a convenient and fun way to explore each city, which is what our App was designed to help you do. Whether hopping on a bike or wandering by foot, we want to encourage everyone to use Delightways to wander, explore and discover all the wonderful and inspiring places your favorite city has to offer.”
Since the system’s launch in June 2013, Divvy riders have taken more than 8.0 million trips and ridership is up 45 percent year-to-date over 2015. More than 750,000 Chicagoans and visitors have used Divvy, and there are more than 35,000 current annual members. Over 1,400 Chicago residents have signed up via the Divvy for Everyone (D4E) program. With this expansion, Divvy will become even more accessible to Chicagoans of all income levels, with over 5,800 bikes system-wide.
“CDOT is very excited to be working with Divvy to expand access and equitable distribution of what is already the largest bike share system in North America,” CDOT First Deputy Commissioner Randy Conner said. “Our goal is to continue to build on the great momentum that Divvy has achieved in just over three years of operation and look for more opportunities to expand Divvy to new neighborhoods in future years.”
The City's Divvy for Everyone program (D4E) marks its first anniversary this month. The program addresses membership barriers for Chicagoans facing financial hardship, and also creates an alternative cash payment system for those without debit or credit cards. CDOT will continue its partnerships with LISC Financial Opportunity Centers to enroll Chicagoans who qualify for the one-time, subsidized membership fee of $5.00.
To date more than 1,400 people have enrolled in the program, over 80 percent of enrollees have used the system and almost 50 percent have taken more than 10 trips. D4E is funded with a grant from the Better Bike Share Partnership and sponsorship dollars from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. For more information on the program, visit http://www.divvybikes.com/d4e.
“LISC Chicago is proud to partner with the City of Chicago to continue making D4E accessible across the city. As the program enters its second year, our neighborhood Financial Opportunity Centers will continue to lead on subsidized memberships and facilitate enrollment to help this program grow,” Meghan Harte, executive director of LISC Chicago said. “Not only is D4E convenient, it provides people with an opportunity to experience their neighborhoods in a different way. It brings people outside and into the community, which correlates with LISC’s goal to foster neighborhoods where people can live, work and play. In many ways, affordable access to bike share is a bridge to both.”
Funding from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL)’s sponsorship of Divvy is crucial to this expansion. The city of Chicago is using more than $1 million in sponsorship dollars from BCBSIL for the 2016 Divvy expansion. BCBSIL has been Divvy’s system sponsor since 2014. In addition to contributing to this year’s expansion, BCBSIL’s sponsorship of Divvy has improved the city’s bike safety and equity efforts by supporting the Bicycle Ambassador safety education program, the D4E program and the construction of better biking infrastructure for all Chicagoans..
Divvy has played an important role in Chicago’s transformation into one of the most bike friendly cities in America. Bicycling Magazine named Chicago the #2 Bike-Friendly City in their latest rankings in 2014 and the number of Chicagoans riding their bikes to work is at an all-time high and growing faster than any other mode of transportation in the city. Since 2011, Chicago has installed 108 miles of barrier and buffer protected bicycle lanes and now has 290 miles of designated bike routes.
For more information and to stay updated on expansion progress, visit DivvyBikes.com/expansion and follow Divvy on Facebook (Facebook.com/divvybikes) and Twitter (Twitter.com/divvybikes).
Divvy is Chicago’s newest transit system, giving Chicago residents and visitors a bike on-demand at hundreds of stations across the city. Intended to provide an additional transportation option for getting around, Divvy is a convenient, fast, fun and affordable. For more information and a map of station locations, visit DivvyBikes.com. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is the exclusive System Sponsor of Divvy.