Did You Know?

Bus riders account for more than 20 percent of people using Lake Shore Drive every day while taking up a fraction of the space that cars do.

Divvy bike sharing now open! A few tips for your first ride

Chicago’s Divvy bike-sharing system opened for business last night at a (wet) launch party at Daley Plaza where dozens of Divvy members — including me — took inaugural rides.

Above: Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke (second from right) and Active Trans board member Susan Levin (right) with other Active Trans members at the Divvy launch at Daley Plaza on Thursday evening. 

The system starts with 75 stations and 750 bikes and will grow to 300 stations and 3,000 bikes later this summer, with 400 stations and 4,000 bikes by next summer.

Check out station locations here and become a member here.

Bike sharing is an amazing catalyst for the biking movement. Because it is so easy and convenient, bike sharing gets people who wouldn’t otherwise bike for transportation to give it a try. Many like their ride so much that they become regular cyclists.

Washington DC’s bike-sharing system has grown to 11,000 trips per day as people realize how easy and fun it is. In Chicago, we can expect similar results, and will likely see Divvy create a big surge in bike ridership over the next year and beyond.

Kudos to Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Transportation for having the commitment and vision to make this happen.

Its success will be enhanced by the city’s growing network of protected and buffered bike lanes, which are especially helpful for less experienced cyclists. Over time, Active Trans expects to see Divvy expand to the entire city and even the suburbs.

If you’re new to bike sharing, here are a few tips I learned from riding the DC system and testing out the bikes here.

  1. You will need to pull and push hard when removing and parking the bikes in the docks. Be strong!
  2. Adjust your seat before taking off and make sure the latch is tight.
  3. Before leaving, use the station location map to identify where you want to dock near your destination.
  4. The bell is on the left side of the handle bar — turn it in a circular motion to ring.
  5. The bike has a grip shift on the right with 3 speeds. The speeds aren’t geared to go very fast, but hey, you’re likely not going very far. Aim for a nice, steady pace and enjoy the comfy, sturdy bikes.

More riding tips are here.