CHICAGO (CBS) — The folks behind the scenes of the Divvy bike-sharing program have been gearing up for warmer weather, tuning up hundreds of bikes and getting them out on the streets.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the Divvy headquarters in the 2100 block of West Hubbard Street was filled with bikes ready to be placed at bike-sharing stations throughout the city, once they are reinstalled this spring.
Divvy employees were busy getting bikes road ready for an expected spike in demand with spring weather moving in.
“We’re loving seeing all the blue bikes zip by,” said Divvy general manager Elliot Greenberger. “It’s been a rough winter for everybody.”
Divvy reduced the number of bikes available in the city to about 1,800 during the winter, but was preparing to ramp up to 2,500 bikes now that the weather is improving.
“Every bike gets checked once a month for safety, to make sure it can go on the street, and is safe for riding,” Greenberger said.
Last year at this time, Divvy didn’t even exist, but it now has 15,000 members who pay a $75 annual fee that allows users unlimited 30-minute trips on a Divvy bike.
“It’s kind of amazing to think about that a year ago we weren’t even around, and this is our first real spring,” he said.
Greenberg said Divvy has smoothed out a lot of the rough spots, including how to balance the number of bikes at each station, although some riders still find docking stations full when they try to return a bike, so they’ll have to find another station.
“We’re every few blocks, so it’s not too much of a burden, but we do understand it is a hassle. It’s something we try to avoid at all costs,” he said.
To find a station near you, you can use the mobile app Cycle Finder.
Most stations are on the North Side and along the lakefront, with none further south than Hyde Park, or further west than Kedzie Avenue
Divvy offers 24-hour passes for $7, allowing users to use bikes for 30 minutes at a time.
Rides longer than 30 minutes cost extra, but the clock resets whenever a user places their bike in a docking station.