Next time you head downtown, why not take the train and bike the rest?
Chicago’s new bike-sharing program, dubbed Divvy, may help you reach the final mile. Intended to provide Chicagoans with another option for moving around the city, this bike sharing network provides a fleet of durable, heavy-duty bikes designed for low-cost, short term use. Divvy will offer 4,000 bikes at over 400 stations spread across the city (the first 75 now open), available for use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Divvy bikes can be rented from and returned to any station in the system, with two times more docking points than bicycles, assuring easy return of bikes is always nearby.
The concept of the program is to provide a quick, inexpensive transportation option on the last mile or so of trips for commuters getting off CTA or Metra trains, as well as creating an alternative to riding taxis or buses during peak hours on traffic-clogged streets.” Jon Hilkevitch, Chicago Tribune
Starting off in Europe, modern public/private bike sharing programs from Portland, Oregon to Washington D.C. have spun out across the Unites States. This summer, new programs have also been launched in New York City and San Francisco. Divvy is a program of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), which owns all of the systems bikes, stations and vehicles. Initial funding for the program comes from federal grants for projects that promote economic recovery, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, as well as additional funds from the Citys Tax Increment Financing program.
You know 40 percent of trips in urban areas are 2 miles or less, but 90 percent of those trips are taken in a car. So, you can do the math, you know. If we can move 20, 30 percent of those people to walking or biking that frees up a lot of capacity for people to drive that need to.” Gabe Klein, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation on NPR’s All Things Considered
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Thanks to Nancy Kohn’s newsletter for the scoop.