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Divvy Riders Surpass 1 Million Miles

By Emily Morris | September 19, 2013 11:44am
 Divvy riders have taken 365,000 trips and collectively biked 1 million miles, the city said. (File photo)
Divvy riders have taken 365,000 trips and collectively biked 1 million miles, the city said. (File photo)
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DNAinfo file photo/Patty Wetli

CHICAGO — Divvy bike riders have pedaled their way through a collective 1 million miles since the city launched its first-ever bikeshare system this summer, the city announced Thursday.

The system, which allows Chicagoans and visitors to take bikes out from various stations and ride to another in 30-minute trips, launched at the end of June and quickly boasted 2,200 yearly members by early July. As of Thursday, more than 8,000 Chicagoans have registered for the annual membership, the city said.

Since Divvy started, riders have taken 365,000 trips and altogether biked about 1 million miles, according to the city.

“This summer, Chicagoans and our visitors have shown a tremendous amount of participation and enthusiasm for bike sharing,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “In a very short time, Divvy has already changed the way people move around the city.”

Customers can buy $7 day passes that give them unlimited 30-minute trips for 24 hours or buy a yearly pass for $75, which pays for an annual membership filled with unlimited 30-minute rides.

The bike sharing program is owned by the Chicago Department of Transportation and run by Chicago Bike Share, a local extension of privately-owned Alta Bike Share Inc., which operates similar systems in the Washington, D.C. area; Boston; Melbourne, Australia; and Chattanooga, Tenn. 

While Divvy operators said the system got off to a relatively smooth start, it has also dealt with its share of problems, including riders who have experienced a few tech bugs, some Chicagoans who have complained that there aren't enough stations in their neighborhood and one condo group who filed a lawsuit contending the station outside their building was one too many.

As for the bugs, Divvy spokesman Elliot Greenberger said they've received fewer reports of problems than they usually get when they launch a new bikeshare. The number of issues reported in Chicago have also declined over time, he said.

"We've seen a very low number of rider issues, either equipment-related or otherwise," Greenberger said in an email.  "We're being both proactive and reactive in servicing any issues that are reported, and have a team of technicians available to fix issues 18 hours a day."

While Divvy stations have recently made it to some South Side neighborhoods like Bridgeport and Hyde Park, many others on the South and West sides are currently without stations, as are a few areas on the far North Side.

A station map on the system's website shows that stations are scheduled to eventually open on the West Side in South Lawndale and on the far North Side in Rogers Park, and Greenberger said Divvy is seeking out more funding to expand throughout the city.

Currently, Divvy plans to have 4,000 bikes in 400 neighborhood locations by next spring, the city said.