GARFIELD PARK — Transportation officials Thursday unveiled the first of 85 new Divvy bike-sharing stations set to pop up mostly on the South and West Side over the next month.
Most of the new stations are headed to South Side neighborhoods like Englewood, Back of the Yards and Chatham, extending the network's range as far as 87th Street.
Another few dozen stations will be built on the West Side, dotting Madison, Lake and Harrison Streets all the way out to suburban Oak Park.
Four new stations are also headed to Irving Park, and 10 more are bound for Evanston.
"This new expansion is going to serve an array of diverse neighborhoods, it'll knit communities together, and provide a healthy affordable way to get around the city," said Sean Weidel, Assistant Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation, at the announcement outside the Garfield Park Conservatory.
The expansion will bring the city's total number of stations to about 580, covering just under half the city's total area. Geographically, Divvy is now the largest bike-sharing network in the country, Weidel said.
When the expansion was announced earlier this year, community groups in Beverly lamented that three years after Divvy's launch, it still hasn't made it to the Far South Side.
But Weidel said the network would continue to expand, and that Divvy stations will "absolutely" make it to the city's far reaches eventually. But until then, he added, people will have to wait until their neighborhood is next in line.
"You wouldn't build a train between New York and Los Angeles without putting a station in Chicago first," Weidel said.
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