Divvy Details: Everything You Need to Know About Chicago’s Bike Share


City residents are ready to bike and the Divvy bike share program just dropped 4,000 new blue bikes into 400 stations across the city. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), with federal assistance, launched Divvy in June, as another transportation option that will reduce congestion and improve air quality. Alta Bicycle Share, Inc., operators of Divvy, successfully run bike share programs in 5 other major cities, including Washington, D.C. and Boston. At $7 per day or $75 for the year (for unlimited 30-minute uses), Divvy is an affordable, easy and enjoyable way to move around Chicago.

Visitors can use Divvy, too

You don’t have to live in the city to use and appreciate bike sharing. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your Divvy ride:

  • Check out the Divvy website and read the basics under “how it works.”
  • Reserve up to two bikes with one swipe of your credit card.
  • Utilize the awesome map of Divvy stations.
  • Make a plan. Grab a bike from the Ogilvie train station, bike to Michigan Avenue to dock, shop, then grab another bike on Illinois and enjoy the lakefront path.
  • Divvy rides only last 30 minutes without additional charges.
  • Use the Divvy website to check the availability of bikes and docks before each transition.
  • Plan to use the same credit card with each use on the 24-hour pass.
  • Memorize the 5-digit code and enter it to grab your bike. Wait for the green light, then pull the bike out of the dock.

Tips for safe Divvy riding

  • Check your Divvy bike’s brakes and gears, and adjust the seat before pedaling.
  • Stick to streets with designated bike lanes.
  • One-way streets with bike lanes felt safest. Use the Divvy map to plan the safest route.
  • Bring a helmet.
  • Avoid sidewalks, or walk your Divvy.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Riders should be 16 years old and fairly comfortable on a bike.

My daughter and I planned a Divvy outing, and experienced first-hand how cool it is to ride the sturdy, 3 speeds.

We took the train into the city, biked to coffee, then to shop, along the lakefront and the river, finally ending back at the train after riding 4 different Divvy bikes. Having experienced Boulder, Colo.’s bike system, Chicago was a different experience. In Boulder, the bike is king; in Chicago it’s still the car. With the quick popularity of Divvy, and comprehensive, long-term commitment by the city, Chicago will be safer for cyclists, and potentially convert drivers to bikers.

We had a blast on the Divvy bikes, and apparently so is everyone else, as Divvy has seen more than 150,000 rides since it’s inception. So go Divvy!