Following the example of Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York, Chicago will be debuting this week its first bike sharing program, called "The Divvy". Similar to programs in many other cities around the world, the goal of the system is to increase ridership, promote green living practices and improve public health.
With The Divvy, Chicago residents have several options for how to check out bikes. They can either purchase a daily rental for $7, which allows them to take unlimited 30-minute rides for one day, or annual memberships with costs between $75 and $125. The annual memberships grant riders various tiers of usage.
The Chicago Tribute reports that initially, there will be 75 docking stations featuring 700 3-speed bicycles which should be ready for use by Sunday. Some stations will come online starting Friday, but the city is delaying operation for several others due to the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup celebration parade. The plan is to expand to 400 stations and 4000 bicycles by the spring of 2014.
Although bike sharing has been around for some time, it has been in the news more recently because of the massive rollout of New York's Citi Bikes program, which is one of the largest implementations so far. Although controversial with a few residents because of the space taken up by racks, it has proven wildly popular with city dwellers who are seeking an alternative method of transportation when subways fill up and traffic gets congested.
As the momentum for bike sharing picks up, LifeIsGreen.com will continue to report on the latest developments and news.