WICKER PARK — Bike sharing has come to Wicker Park — or, at least the solar-powered stations where the bikes will dock.
Intended for short trips, the three-speed bikes are painted "Chicago blue" and require a credit card swipe for temporary pass holders, while the nearly 1,500 members that have signed up in advance can use a key to unlock an available bike.
An official from Divvy's Montreal office said as of early Monday almost 1,500 had signed up for the program. The program will have 75 stations and 750 bikes at first, but will expand to 300 stations and 3,000 bikes by the end of 2013.
For a list of the first 75 locations, click here.
At the Green Music Fest Sunday, Michelle Ponce de Leon was among representatives giving out free 24-hour passes (a $7 value) to festgoers.
"Some people are excited [about Divvy], some cyclists are like, "Oh, this is going to slow people down and some people say it will take up parking spots," Ponce de Leon said.
At a chamber of commerce gathering in May, Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) expressed concern over the number of parking spaces lost to the Divvy stations — which appear to take up between one or two spaces — while Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) said the program needs to be "robust."
Each station has a neighborhood map with a "You are here" designation and a blue bicycle icon representing the nearest stations.
Chris Hain, 37, a data analyst, was examining the map in front of the "Milwaukee/Wood" Divvy station near the Milwaukee and Wood Street Walgreens.
Though he had a bicycle and said he didn't plan to use Divvy, the Wicker Park resident said he "thinks it's great if it's going to get people taking bikes more than cars."
Patrick and Valerie Ginnan were checking out a newly installed Divvy station in front of Smoke Daddy at 1804 W. Division St. Sunday.
"We both have bikes but if we had a friend in town who didn't have a bike, they would use [Divvy]," Patrick Ginnan said.
Divvy fees range from $75 for a yearly membership to $7 for a 24-hour pass for unlimited station-to-station trips up to 30 minutes.
Trips over 30 minutes rack up overtime fees of $2 for the first 30 minutes; $6 for 60-90 minutes over; $8 for each additional 30 minutes. Any trip over six hours will incur overtime fines of $102.
If the station is full of bikes when you arrive and there is nowhere to dock, you can request an extra 15 minutes of time to return the bike at the nearest station, according to a sign.
The list of local stations in Divvy's Phase 1 rollout are:
"Damen Blue Line" at 2002 W. Pierce Ave. (just south of the CTA Damen Blue Line "L" station, adjacent to Penny's Noodle Shop) with docks for 19 bikes.
"Wood/Milwaukee" at 1381 N. Milwaukee Ave. (in front of Walgreens, just south of Wood Street) with docks for 15 bikes.
"Wood/Division" at 1802 W. Division St. (in front of Smoke Daddy at Wood and Division Streets) with docks for 15 bikes.
"North/Marshfield" at 1611 N. Marshfield Ave. (just north of Marshfield and North Avenue) with docks for 15 bikes.
"Ashland/Armitage" at 1639 W. Armitage Ave. with docks for 15 bikes.
West Town (East Village, Noble Square):
"Augusta/Ashland" at 1611 W. Augusta Blvd. (just south of Marshfield, next to Wells High School) with docks for 15 bikes.
"Noble/Milwaukee" at 1016 N. Noble St. (just south of Milwaukee Avenue) with docks for 15 bikes.
"Noble/Chicago" at 811 N. Noble St. (on the southwest side of Eckhart Park) with docks for 15 bikes.