Frequently Asked Questions

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has set an ambitious vision to make cycling a safe and affordable option for more Chicagoans. In addition to connecting bike networks and increasing the number of low stress and protected bike lane miles in the city, CDOT will facilitate more residents cycling through a bike distribution program. CDOT will distribute 5,000 bicycles, as well as safety and maintenance equipment, over the course of 4 years to age and income eligible residents.

  • Chicago Residents 14 and older (those under 18 will need a Guardian’s signature on a liability waiver); AND
  • Have a household income at or below 100% of the Area Median Income for Chicago (see chart); AND
  • Do not already own a bicycle; AND
  • Residents that face higher mobility hardship (see map on attached page); OR
  • Participants in CDOT 2022 mobility programming (Green Corps, Learn to Ride and Open Boulevard Events)
Household income at or below the Area Median Income by Household Size for Chicago

Area Median Income by Household Size*

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

$73,000

$83,400

$93,800

$104,200

$112,600

$120,900

$129,300

$137,600

 

*Income limits are for the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL HUD Metro FMR Area.

For the first year of the program, the program will be first come first serve for residents that qualify. Depending on demand, the City may implement a lottery for years 2-4 of the program for residents that qualify.

The 2022 Application window is closed. The application window for 2023 will be announced at a later date. 

Eligible residents can indicate if they need an adaptive bike in the online application. If selected, a City staff person will contact you to discuss your bike needs. The timeline for receiving an adaptive bike will be a year or longer.

  • Non-Adaptable Bikes- city/hybrid bikes that enable an upright riding position
  • Adaptable Bikes- City staff will work with eligible applicants to identify needs
  • Helmet – a standard adjustable road bike helmet
  • Lock – a standard U lock
  • Bell – a standard bike bell
  • Lights – front and rear usb chargeable lights
  • Chain lubricant – all weather chain lubricant

If you qualify for a bike and gear, the City will notify you of the pick-up location and timeframes. The City is planning to distribute bikes in August and September.

  • If you are a participant in the Green Corps Programs, the bike and accompanying equipment will be distributed through the program.
  • If you participate in a CDOT Learn to Ride program, staff will coordinate with you to pick up a bike and equipment at a City distribution site.
  • If you participate in a CDOT Open Boulevards event, staff will coordinate with you to pick up a bike and equipment at a City distribution site.

The process will be done via self-attestation with recipients agreeing that any false representations constitute and act of fraud, which may result in termination and repayment of any and all benefits received through the program.

Yes. Recipients will be required to sign a liability waiver. Recipients under 18 will need to have a guardian present who will sign the form on their behalf.

Please contact the CDOT team at bikechicago@cityofchicago.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Mobility Hardship Index

Residents who reside in Community Areas shaded orange and red have lower levels of mobility.

Click on the map for a larger map view.

Mobility Hardship Index