Chicago expands Divvy bikeshare program to operate across entire city

ByStephanie Wade WLS logo
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Chicago expands Divvy bikeshare program
The Chicago Department of Transportation announced an expansion of the Divvy bikeshare program Tuesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Coinciding with national bike month, the Chicago Department of Transportation announced the expansion of the Divvy bikeshare system.

Since hitting the streets back in 2013, the system has provided an alternate way for people to get around the city.

"I've had a divvy membership probably for four or five years. It makes it really easy to get to Uptown, see different neighborhoods in Chicago," said Michael Berger, who approves of the expansion.

With the expansion, the bikeshare system will become operational across the entire city.

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"That's 234 square miles. It's the most coverage of any city in North America. We are the biggest and best," said Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi.

The system is diversifying to newly-served neighborhoods on the Northwest and Southwest sides.

"More bikes and stations means more riders and more ways for folks to ride on the South Side," said Brenda Dixon with the Major Taylor Cycling Club Chicago.

Over the next two years, up to 250 Divvy stations will be installed, and nearly 3,000 new bikes will be added to the fleet. Divvy operator Lyft said that's because ridership is on the rise.

"Divvy ridership is 60% higher than it was in 2019. And, this time, this year, we are already 40% higher than we were last year in terms of ridership," said Lyft Transit, Bike and Scooter Policy Vice President Caroline Samponaro.

Some riders ABC7 spoke with are pleased with the expanded access.

"I think it's great. I think it's good to be in other places and give the access to everyone. I have noticed there's a lot in the city, but I live in the South Loop, and there's a lot down there too. But, if you go more south, it does start to be a little limited," said Brittany Rice.

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Other drivers said the roads and sidewalks are already congested enough already.

"It's just not right. They're taking up a lot of space," said Johnny Porter. "I feel kind of unsafe because you never know when they're coming out at you."

Greg Jones also weighed in.

"A lot of them are veering off, and they seem to think that they have dominion over the street, that because they are a pedestrian on a bike, that they are somehow exempt to the driving rules everybody else has to follow," Jones said.

CDOT said Chicagoans of color now make up the majority of ridership. There are currently more than 800 divvy stations and 15,000 bikes and scooters citywide.