DOWNTOWN — Chicago's new bike-sharing program is up and running.
Divvy, a Chicago Department of Transportation program, will eventually have 4,000 bikes available for use 24 hours a day at 400 locations citywide. Seventy stations debuted Thursday, with five more coming over the weekend.
Thursday's launch at Daley Plaza began with 200 bikes on display, waiting for the first batch of users to ride home. Rain poured down on cyclists, but the true believers stayed, most getting soaked as they waited.
"They say rain is a sign of renewal and change — so maybe this is auspicious and not a bummer," city Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein said. "We're flipping on the switch tonight."
A couple dozen people were up and running on their new Divvy bike rentals as the sun came through and the rain cleared.
"If [the program] is as popular as we think it is, we'll see more neighborhoods wanting Divvy service," Klein said.
Initial funding for the program comes from federal grants for projects that promote economic recovery, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, as well as additional funds from the City’s Tax Increment Financing program, according to Divvy's website.
Cyclists can expect more stations to roll out throughout July. A map of Chicago's Divvy stations can be found here.