Divvy Up!

September 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Bike-sharing programs are a relatively new idea here in Chicago, but in places like Amsterdam it’s been popular for years.  The basic concept is that the city provides rows of bicycles to residents/tourists and if you want one, you pay to borrow it.  Chicago implemented this concept, called Divvy, a few months ago and has been expanding the bicycle coverage all over the city.  The bikes are easy to spot and you can rent them for an hour at a time.  At the end of the hour, you either have to return the bike to a docking station or just check in there and keep using it.  The fee is $7 for 24 hours or you can pay a $75 annual fee.  It’s pretty handy for people just wanting to do quick jaunts around town to run errands or sight see, and I’ve been seeing these bikes more and more all over the city.  It’s a good way to get exercise and help keep the roads a little less congested, which are both nice incentives.

Riiiide, Chicago, Riiide

As someone who already has a bike, I have not used this city-sharing option.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t.  I could grab a bike by the train when I go to the Field Museum, drop it off outside the museum then take another back to the train at the end of my shift.  That would save me probably 20 minutes of walking overall so don’t think it’s not something I haven’t already considered.  Besides, I stand behind the idea of the program and would like to see it really catch on.  Like I said, I’ve been seeing people on these bikes all over (especially downtown) and I think that’s great.  However, I have heard of some cases where tourists are causing accidents because they don’t know how to follow the rules of the road in the city.  To be honest, I’d be scared of riding around downtown myself unless it’s on the lakefront, so I can see how that would happen.  Chicago has been adding bike only lanes and traffic lights though so hopefully that’ll help with the confusion.  I’ve heard mostly good reviews and that’s a good sign.

It’ll be interesting to see how much they’re used in the winter, or maybe the city will just store them for those long and dreary months?  I think other places could get in on this too, like Bloomington, where I spent the weekend.  Anything that is good for the environment and good for public health sounds good to me so I’ll continue to watch and see how this program rolls along!

And yes, pun intended.


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