Divvy Grows to 117 Stations, Launches Corporate Memberships

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Emanuel and Klein examine the one-of-a-kind red Divvy bike. Photo: Brooke Collins, City of Chicago

Rahm Emanuel celebrated the one-month anniversary of the Divvy bike-share system at a ribbon cutting this morning for a new docking station at Fosco Park Community Center, 1312 South Racine. The mayor announced that with 117 stations scheduled to be online by the end of the day, Divvy will become the fourth-largest public bike system in the country, after New York City’s Citi Bike, Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare, and Minneapolis’ Nice Ride.

The program will expand to 300 stations by this fall and 400 by next spring, which will be more than NYC’s 330, although that city will still have more cycles. “Bike sharing in Chicago has been very successful in just a very short time, and we are expanding the system into more neighborhoods for more Chicagoans to utilize this exciting new way to move around the city,” Mayor Emanuel said.

It’s worth noting that this latest batch of 40 stations is a bit behind schedule. In a press release posted on Wednesday, July 23, the Chicago Department of Transportation said these stations were scheduled for installation by last Monday, July 26. However, five of the announced locations weren’t installed by that date. This is one of a few Divvy deadlines that CDOT has missed. The system launch was scheduled for Bike to Work Day, Friday, June 14, but instead the rollout happened two weeks later. The department also planned to have 75 stations in operation for the launch, but instead it debuted with only 67.

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Emanuel takes the red bike for a spin. Photo: Brooke Collins, City of Chicago

According to the Mayor’s Office, Divvy riders have taken more than 80,000 trips, pedaling roughly 250,000 miles, longer than the distance to the moon. Almost 4,000 annual memberships have been sold.

Emanuel also touted Divvy’s new Corporate and Community Partner program, offers groups $10 off the $75 annual membership fees; the partners may choose to further subsidize the cost for their employees. So far, 24 businesses, nonprofits and community groups have joined, including such diverse entities as the Metropolitan Planning Council, DRW Trading, Eleven City Diner, Park Community Church and Fox News Digital.

“Local companies and community organizations can also become partners in the program and encourage their employees and members to join Divvy at discounted rates,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “We are extremely pleased with the amount of early participation and enthusiasm the Chicago business community has shown for bike sharing.”

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A close-up of the red Divvy.

Klein also mentioned that among the 900 or so “Chicago blue” bikes on the street, there is a single red-painted ride. The 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th, 200th and 300th customers to check out the crimson cycle will win a free annual membership or, for riders who are already enrolled, another year of credit. You can also post photos and videos of the burgundy bike under the hashtag #divvyred to be eligible to win Divvy gear, car-sharing memberships, a gift certificate to Intelligentsia Coffee, or a night at the Hotel Felix.

Here’s a full list of the 24 Corporate and Community Partners:

  • Metropolitan Planning Council
  • YR&G
  • Eleven City Diner
  • Solomon Cordwell Buenz
  • Sprout Social
  • EQE Partners
  • Fox News Digital
  • GA Communication
  • Morr Sharp Associates
  • US Equities
  • onShore Networks
  • Steadfast Networks
  • Sam Schwartz Engineering
  • AXA Assistance
  • DRW Trading
  • Big Bowl
  • Morningstar
  • World Business Chicago
  • Classified Ventures
  • HBK Engineering
  • Jones Lang LaSalle
  • Mintel Group
  • Park Community Church
  • Compass Lexecon
  • Anonymous

    Shouldn’t they have 4 red bikes? One for each star. Possibly even name them after the events each stars represent as a bit of local trivia.

  • People might feel a little weird about cruising around on the bike
    representing the Fort Dearborn Massacre, AKA the Battle of Fort
    Dearborn.

  • Fred

    Anyone know what ride number the red bike is at? I would consider Greenfielding (dock surfing all 117 stations) for a free annual membership…

  • Free copy of “Bars Across America: Drinking and Biking from Coast to Coast,” plus a blog post, for the first person to do this and provide photographic proof.

  • Chicagio

    Ha!

  • This morning there were 107 operating stations (per the oobrien map); right now there are 115. But the same four lonely uninstalled green ones are still uninstalled! Where did the eight new stations go in? They weren’t green-dotted this morning.

  • One guy did actually win prizes for docksurfing around the District on a nasty winter day:
    http://www.tbd.com/blogs/tbd-on-foot/2011/03/how-robert-solorzano-won-capital-bikeshare-s-winter-weather-warrior-contest-9603.html

  • Anonymous

    Random thought/question, do the bikes have any electronics on them to capture the distance they’ve traveled or is that 250k miles merely the distance between checkout and checkin stations? If the latter, then it’s probably a pretty decent UNDERestimation of the actual distance traveled.

  • Anonymous

    Possibly, but it’s just as much a part of our history as the fire and the worlds’ fairs.

  • They have passive GPS.

  • Anonymous

    What does “passive” GPS mean?

  • Anonymous

    What does “passive” GPS mean?

  • Do they have to use #divvyred, or will any Divvy do? :->

  • Nope, but if they use the Scarlet Cycle, I’ll throw in a red Rivendell Merino wool cap.

  • It’s recorded for later retrieval, but not actively uploaded while moving.

  • Anonymous

    According to a few sources, the star represents Fort Dearborn, not the massacre.

  • Adam Herstein

    Who cares which city has the biggest system, the most stations, or the most bikes? Why do Chicagoans constantly feel the need to compete with NYC?

  • Adam Herstein

    How long do the batteries last? i.e. How long does Divvy have to recover a ditched bike before the GPS cuts out?

  • Adam Herstein

    I’m still waiting for the Jean Baptiste Point du Sable sponsored bike.

  • That’s enough! We’re revoking your Chicago Card.

    Just kidding, but why wouldn’t we want to have as many bikes as possible, as long as they’re going to get good use and the system is economically sustainable?

  • In the meantime, here are the lyrics to “The Ballad of Jean DuSable”: http://illinoisfirstrockband.com/lyrics.html#

  • Adam Herstein

    We do, there’s just no need to compare to other cities for the sole purpose of bragging rights.

  • Waddles

    Went docksurfing last night! No photographic proof, though. My phone would have died one hour in.

  • Nice avatar! How many stations did you visit?

  • Waddles

    About 50 stops total, half being unique stations. Our trip got cut short by the rain and after the station at Fullerton & Sheffield wouldn’t let us take out any bikes at all. Otherwise we probably would have kept going!

  • I presume there are no batteries and it’s powered by the dynamo.

    To answer your question, though, my passive, handheld GPS recorder lasts about 20 hours.

  • Anonymous

    Research shows that competition leverages increased interest and participation among those that find it motivating, which is not to say that everyone does, of course, but only that there is a significant group of competitive-minded folks out there and their energy can help increase membership/use . . .

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