PORTAGE PARK — Far Northwest Side residents who want to rent one of the now-ubiquitous sky-blue Divvy bikes will be able to hop on two wheels closer to home.
Four stations will be built in the 45th Ward as part of the next wave of expansion for the city-funded bike sharing service, including a station in the Six Corners Shopping District at Irving Park Road near Cicero and Milwaukee avenues, Ald. John Arena (45th) announced.
Arena's announcement did not say when the stations would be installed, and a Divvy spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
Divvy is making its way to the far Northwest Side and Heather Cherone has the details:
The Six Corners Business Association lobbied for a station, saying it would attract new shoppers and diners to the area — and help boost the burgeoning arts and entertainment district.
A station is also set to be built at Schurz High School, 3601 N. Milwaukee Ave., which is across the street from where Chicago artist Nick Cave, the head of the fashion program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, plans to transform an empty building into a studio/gallery/apartment where he will live and work.
A station will also be built at the Irving Park station on the CTA's Blue Line near Irving Park and Pulaski roads as well as one between the Blue Line and Six Corners along Irving Park Road, Arena said.
The precise location for the Six Corners and Irving Park Road Divvy stations have not yet been determined, Arena said.
The Six Corners Business Association — which has been working to install bike corrals in an effort to attract cyclists to Irving Park Road, Cicero and Milwaukee avenues — believes making Six Corners more pedestrian-friendly will spur the economic development that the area has been missing for several decades.
The new Divvy stations are intended to expand the bike-sharing system into new neighborhoods as well as fill in gaps, according to the bike-share service.
Divvy has 300 stations with about 11,000 registered members, but no stations on the Far South Side, West Side and Far North Side, according to the city.
Divvy, which is is owned by the Chicago Department of Transportation and operated by Alta Bike Share Inc., charges $75 for a one-year membership or $7 for unlimited daily rides of up to 30 minutes.
Because stations must be a half-mile apart, the service is starting in the southeast part of the 45th Ward. Arena would like to see the service spread northwest into Jefferson Park and Gladstone Park along Milwaukee Avenue, said Owen Brugh Arena's chief of staff.