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Bike Share Stations Coming to Lincoln Park in June

By Paul Biasco | May 24, 2013 6:53am
 The "Divvy" bike is a three-speed hybrid painted in "Chicago Blue."
The "Divvy" bike is a three-speed hybrid painted in "Chicago Blue."
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City of Chicago

LINCOLN PARK — Residents of Lincoln Park will be among the first in the city to have access to Chicago's bike share program, which will set up 23 stations in the 43rd Ward in June.

The bike share program, known as "Divvy" is intended to supplement the public transportation system by allowing riders to hop on a bike at one station and drop it off at another that might not be near an "L" or bus stop.

Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) revealed the locations of the bike share stations in her ward Thursday, with the most docks at CTA "L" stops, popular intersections and destinations such as Oz Park and along Lincoln Park.

A full interactive map of the locations can be found here.

"We do hope that more people get on bikes to run their errands," Smith said. "There will be one at the Green City Market, which is ideal for a Wednesday and Saturday morning to hop on a bike and go."

But will Smith herself sign up for the $75-per-year pass to have access to the bikes?

"Absolutely," she said.

The city hopes to have about 4,000 of the three-speed bikes spread throughout 400 neighborhoods over the next year.

Smith said Lincoln Park and downtown will be two of the first areas where the city rolls out the program.

Most stations will have between 15 and 19 docks, but the Red Line stop at North and Clybourn and the Fullerton "L" stop each will have 23 docks.

There are four docking stations along Lincoln Avenue, which lost its popular No. 11 bus route last year, and four along Clark Street within the 43rd Ward.

Smith said the city picked the locations first and asked for her thoughts before approving them.She said her office contacted every business next to the biking stations to see if it worked for them and the response was positive.

"In the vast majority of the locations, they were very excited to have bike share locations next to their businesses," Smith said.

For those with a yearly pass, the "Chicago Blue" painted bikes will be free for 30 minute trips.

Daily passes on the bikes can be bought for $7.

The federally-funded program has been implemented in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Denver, Minneapolis, London and Paris, to name a few.

Smith has been a strong proponent of bicyclists in her ward since taking office last year, and has been pushing for safer and more bike lanes within the ward.

"We are looking at biking in our ward in a way to make it safer for everybody this is a top priority for me," she said.