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Divvy, Chicagoland’s popular bike share system, is celebrating its third birthday today while carrying out its second major expansion and registering strong growth in overall riders and annual memberships. Divvy has recorded a 37 percent increase in rides taken in 2016 with more than 1.4 million total rides to date. Since the beginning of 2015, the ranks of annual Divvy members has surged 50 percent, from 23,190 to the current level of more than 34,950 members.
As it marks three years of operation today, June 28, Divvy, already the geographically largest bike share system in North America, is almost hal fway done with a expansion that will take the system from 475 bike share stations and 4,700 bikes to 580 stations and more than 5,800 bikes, extending Divvy’s reach to the South and West Sides of Chicago as well as Oak Park and Evanston. The expansion beyond the City’s borders was made possible by a state grant that also covered the cost of new stations in Chicago. Critical support for the expansion has also been provided by Divvy’s exclusive system sponsor, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL).
More than 900,000 people have used Divvy, Chicago’s newest transit system, as either annual members or occasional riders since it launched. In that time, Divvy riders have taken over 7.8 million trips all across the city and logged more than 16 million miles. Divvy is owned by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and operated by the bike share company Motivate International, Inc.
“While Divvy is extremely proud of the record levels of ridership and our growing ranks of members, we can truly say that we are even more gratified by the levels of customer satisfaction that we have seen in customer surveys,” Divvy General Manager Elliot Greenberger said. "As we continue expanding the reach of the Divvy system, we're also working to enhance the rider experience by upgrading operations and the state-of-the-art technology that the system relies on.”
During this time of rapid growth, member surveys have found that more than 90 percent of customers said they are highly satisfied with Divvy. The same survey found that Divvy users have integrated the bike share system into their lives in a number of ways. Below are the some of the reasons that Divvy users cite for using the system “sometimes” or “often”:
● Social/entertainment: 83 percent
● Shopping/errands: 76 percent
● Going to/from transit: 75 percent
● Going to/from work/meetings: 74 percent
● Exercise/recreation: 67 percent
In addition, Divvy survey data points to a positive economic impact from the presence of a Divvy station. In a survey conducted last year, 68 percent of Divvy riders said they were more likely to patronize businesses that are located near Divvy stations.
Divvy is replacing costly taxi and car trips, with 63 percent and 46 percent of members reporting that they use those modes of transportation “less often” than before they become Divvy members. Divvy trips are also replacing some bus trips, with 51% of members reporting they take the bus less frequently than before becoming members. This demonstrates how Divvy is helping meet the “last mile” challenge in some neighborhoods.
In addition, 56 percent of Divvy members report that they also have a personal bike, similar to how car owners may take taxis or use ride-share in addition to owning a personal vehicle. And six percent of Divvy members have purchased a bike for personal use for the first time (or the first time in a while) since joining Divvy, and 12 percent are considering it.
BCBSIL has been Divvy’s system sponsor since 2014. In addition to contributing to this year’s expansion, BCBSIL’s sponsorship of Divvy has also funded new bicycle infrastructure and improved the city’s bike safety and equity efforts by supporting the Bicycle Ambassador safety education program. BCBSIL has also supported the Divvy for Everyone (D4E) program, which offers an initial $5 annual membership for low-income Chicagoans who qualify.
Divvy will have grown from 69 stations in June 2013 to more than 580 stations covering 100 square miles by the end of July this year. To see a brief slideshow on Divvy’s past year, visit DivvyBikes.com/HBDivvy.
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.