Divvy bike price hike takes effect next Wednesday

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Divvy bike rides around Chicago are about to get more expensive for those who purchase daily rides.

The daily fee to rent a bike will jump by more than 40 percent, which means a 24-hour pass will go from $7 to $9.95. The price hike goes into effect on July 22.

A city official said Divvy recently doubled its service area and the price hike helps cover the expanding costs of operating the bike-share program.

"I don't need the service expanded," said Sandy Thoms, who is using the bike to get from hot yoga to work. "You should do it for everyone, including the annual subscribers and not just the people who pay daily," she said.

The city said the change in price will mostly impact Divvy users who do not live in Chicago. About two-thirds of daily users are visitors.

"I don't know why they are going up. I thought this was a great investment for the city, incentives to ride bikes more instead of drive. I guess it is kind of working the opposite," Andrena Dicks, Divvy user, said.

The $75 annual Divvy membership will not change. About 86-percent of Divvy's 27,400 annual members are Chicago residents, so the city said the impact on them will be minimized.

According to Divvy, Chicago's bike-sharing program is comparable to those in other cities: in New York, a daily pass for the Citi Bike system is $9.95 and the annual membership is $149; in San Francisco, a daily pass is $9.

The plan all along, Divvy said, was "to generate incremental revenue to support future expansion and development of additional bike infrastructure in Chicago."

Divvy said a limited number of discount day passes will be available at libraries and ward offices in neighborhoods where Divvy is new to encourage people to try the bike-sharing system at the current price. Those passes will expire on Oct. 15.
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