CHICAGO — The wheels are moving forward in Chicago's first bike-sharing program with an invitation to sign up for annual memberships on Wednesday.
The first 4,000 to register will be considered founding members and receive special offers, including the opportunity to attend the program's launch on June 14, the city announced.
Founding memberships may be bought for $75 and include a key that can unlock bikes at any station along with unlimited 30-minute rides for the year. For $125, members get five 24-hour passes to share and the chance to participate in the launch.
Daily passes to use the bikes will also be available for $7.
Divvy, which generally means to divide and share, will roll out to 75 bike stations in June. Maps of the stations are available on Divvy's Facebook page, and those wanting to learn more about the program can sign up for alerts on the bike share's website.
The city plans to introduce 4,000 bikes at 400 wireless, solar powered spots in various neighborhoods during the next year, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
The bikes will be placed in high-traffic areas such as CTA "L" and bus stations, shopping centers, schools and medical centers, the city said. Customers can pick up a bike at one location and then return it to any other existing station.
"Divvy has already generated an incredible amount of interest and excitement," said Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein. "Offering different levels of founding memberships is another way for riders to show their support and encourage others to use the system."
Chicago's program comes on the heels of New York City's launch of its own system, Citi Bike, and a few years after international cities such as London and Hangzhou, China, among others, began bike-sharing programs. Washington, D.C. was the first U.S. city to start bike sharing in 2008.