What It Takes to Install a Divvy Bike-Share Station

Tuesday morning I caught up with a Divvy bike-share station installation crew to tape the installation of the station in Pritzker Park across from the Harold Washington Library Center.

The system Chicago is using, developed by the Public Bike System Company, is modular and relies on solar power, so the stations can be installed very quickly, without digging up the street to connect to the electrical grid. Everything you see in this four-minute video, from removing equipment out of the blue storage van, to installing the cylindrical solar panel, was filmed in 45 minutes. That was enough time to connect four of the seven modular sections that comprise the full station. (I left before the second flatbed truck arrived bringing the three remaining station sections.)

After the initial installation, staff from PBSC came and tested the software, readying it for last evening’s preview ride and the system launch this morning. As of the launch, 65 stations Divvy stations have been fully installed (four of those are temporarily shut off due to the Blackhawks parade and rally, and should turn on sometime after noon). Ten more stations will open by Monday for a phase 1 rollout of 75 stations.

  • Anonymous

    It appears that not only are they self contained, they are also not bolted onto anything (road/sidewalk). Is that correct?

    Also, the stations that were supposed to be closed, were open when I checked out a bike this morning around 8. The Bike Ambassador know nothing about them being closed for the morning.

  • I believe that is correct. I don’t think there are any holes on the top plate to anchor the sections. They are really heavy: they take three people to slide a section and that blue device to move it aside.

    Maybe they closed after 8 AM when crowds started showing up?

    The closed stations were to be: “Clinton and Washington; Clinton and Madison; Daley Center Plaza, and at Michigan and Randolph near the Cultural Center.” (via Sun-Times)

  • Correct, they are not bolted down, just really, really heavy.

  • BlueFairlane

    I am perhaps giving the criminal element too much credit, but it would seem anybody who could figure out how to swipe one of these things would have a plan for bolts.

    I do kind of wonder what happens if some drunk speeding guy hits one, though.

  • I was sitting on a docked Divvy bike (one that I had just returned) texting people and tweeting about my experience (isn’t my job awesome?). I was imagining, “It would suck if a driver ran into me right now because they ‘couldn’t see this huge object and the orange poles surrounding it'”.

    I was at the Noble St & Milwaukee Ave station, which is in the roadway, in an “excess pavement” part of the intersection.

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