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Divvy, Chicago’s newest transit system, will continue to be available to Chicago riders throughout winter at 300 active stations, although the bike fleet will be reduced to match anticipated ridership.
“We’re committed to serving Divvy riders year-round, even during our snowy Chicago winters,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Divvy bikes will be available to ride throughout the fall and winter seasons, so Chicagoans can bundle up and keep warm by pedaling to their destinations.”
In the four months since launching, the citywide bike share system has provided more than 600,000 trips to Chicago residents and visitors who have collectively ridden more than 1.5 million miles.
Snow removal will become part of the daily responsibilities of Divvy rebalancing teams, technicians, and station cleaners. The teams circle the city in blue vans from 6 a.m. to Midnight every day. Vans will be loaded with shovels, brooms and salt to keep stations clear of snow and ice.
As a safety matter in very extreme weather, Divvy may choose to temporarily close the system, only after alerting the public via press release, social media and the CycleFinder app on iPhone and Android. Emails will also be sent to Annual Members. In an instance of a temporary halt to operations, riders will be able to return bikes to all stations securely, but will not be able to take bikes out.
“As Chicago fall and winter weather starts to settle in, the nearly 11,000 annual members continue to take thousands of trips per day,” said Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein. “With the appropriate clothing, Divvy still makes a lot of sense, particularly for people who want more transit options.”
To educate Chicagoans about biking in cold weather, Divvy is launching an online campaign called #DIVVYON, intended to reflect the fact that Divvy will continue through winter as well as the resilient spirit of Chicagoans.
Chicagoans are asked to snap photos that capture what it means to #DIVVYON through cold weather and post it to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using the hashtag #DIVVYON. The best photos will be highlighted on the Divvy homepage.
Divvy will also post weekly tips on preparing for riding in cooler weather, such as:
Wear Layers. Riding will warm you up; start with less than you need and carry extra layers. If you’re sweating through your clothing, remove a layer. Just use the clothes in your closet. Start with the basics and make sure your ears and hands are shielded from the elements. Visit your local bike shop and see how they can keep you warm with gloves and earmuffs. Plan Your Route. Each rider has a different comfort level in cool weather and should decide for themselves when it’s too cold to bike. Always plan for an alternative mode of transit in case using Divvy doesn’t feel comfortable.
Divvy features thousands of bikes at hundreds of stations across Chicago neighborhoods, with a larger number of planned stations than any other bike sharing system in the country. Divvy currently has 300 stations by the end of October. Next year, they will add at least 100 stations to expand in to more neighborhoods across the city.
Chicagoans can find out more about the system at www.DivvyBikes.com or through social media on Twitter at @DivvyBikes and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DivvyBikes.
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