CHICAGO — Using a Divvy bike? Of course there's an app for that.
Several in fact.
While there is no official app bearing the baby blue Divvy Bikes logo — at least not yet — there are a number that offer combinations of features for all cyclists.
Much like the CTA did with its bus and train data, the city opened up its bike-sharing data to programming geeks too.
"Our goal is to open up the data to anyone who has a use for it," said Elliot Greenberger, a Divvy spokesman. By making the data available to developers to use as they see fit, Greenberger said "We give our riders a variety of options based on their preferences."
Here are some of those apps:
• CycleFinder: This is the official app created by one of the companies that brought bike sharing to Chicago, though it doesn't bear the "Divvy Bikes" logo in any app store. The app maps and lists each station based on how many bikes are available and how many empty docks there are. The app's timer helps cyclists keep tabs on when they have to return their bikes in order to avoid additional charges. Free for iOS and Android.
• Chicago Bike Guide: Developed by Steven Vance, a writer for transportation blog Streetsblog Chicago, this app integrates information about Divvy stands and bike availability with bike trail information. It even gives directions, links to a Chicago-based bicycle forum, and highlights points of interest, including do-it-yourself bike repair stations and burrito places. "Cyclists seem to like burritos more than non-cyclists," Vance said. "Because there's a lot of calories in them." $1.99 for iOS. (Vance says an Android version is in development.)
• Chicago Bike: Not to be confused with the other app, this one is as simple as it gets, mapping stations with information about the number of bikes and parking spots available. Free for iOS.
• Divvy Bike Locator: Developed by DePaul student Matt Kula, this app shows all Divvy stations and displays spots and bikes available. The app links with Google Maps to provide directions. Kula says he expects to add features to the app soon. Free for Android.
• Univelo Chicago — Divvy Bikes: Developed in France, the Chicago-specific version of the app offers a map highlighting available bikes and parking spots. If no bikes are parked at a given station, a user can tell the app to send an alert when a bike is parked there. It's 99 cents for iOS and Android.
• SpotCycle: This app covers dozens of bike-sharing programs throughout the world, including Divvy. It offers information on bike stations as well as bike trails, though this function seems to be disabled. This app has a timer. Free for iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
• 312 Nabes: This app shows where all the stations are on a map that also highlights Chicago's neighborhoods. So that station you parked at on Damen and Melrose avenues? You now know it's in Roscoe Village. Free for iOS.
On top of those apps, there's also the website DivvyBrags, aimed at those who want to make their commutes competitive. Accessible from any device with Internet access, the site allows users to plug in their information and chart how many miles they've traveled using the blue bikes. In the two months since's Divvy's debut, the top rider has notched 340 miles of pedaling.