Less than 48 hours after opening Divvy Memberships, we had our 1000th Founding Member sign up this morning. To recognize this milestone, we wanted to share more about what we believe Divvy will bring to Chicago and to our Members.
Divvy is a new transit system in Chicago. We support local bike shops and bike rental companies, but we ourselves are neither of those. Think of Divvy as a “bike taxi,” getting you from one place to the next.
- Chicagoans will use Divvy to take more short bike trips. Like bike share in other cities, we include the first 30 minutes of every trip in your Annual Membership. This initial time limit is common to bike share systems all around the world from Minneapolis to London, Boston to Paris. In DC—which has had a successful bike share system for several years—97.2% of all trips by Annual Members are less than 30 minutes and 99.5% are less than an hour. We’ll be a great way to get you from Point A to Point B.
- Chicagoans will use Divvy with other forms of transit. In comparable cities, 50% of all bike share trips are used to go to and from other transit, such as buses and trains. We play well with others, and have placed many of our stations near ‘L’ stops for this reason. One of Divvy’s most comm013on uses will be for “the last mile,” helping bridge the gap between your work or home and the train or bus.
- Chicagoans will use Divvy for different reasons. Divvy is not really intended for a leisurely stroll along the lakefront (in that case, there are plenty of bike rentals). But there are many other uses for Divvy. In its 2013 Member Survey, Capital Bikeshare in DC found that “seven in ten respondents reported that they at least occasionally use bikeshare for social/entertainment and errands/personal appointments trips, 66% use bikeshare to go out for a meal, and 55% use bikeshare for shopping trips…But 58% of respondents use bikeshare to go to/from work and 40% use bikeshare ‘often’ for this purpose.” We expect the same variety of uses to hold true in Chicago.
- Chicagoans who already own bikes will still use Divvy. There are people who own three bikes and have still signed up as Founding Members. And not just because they love cycling! They signed up because Divvy will be useful for them. They might find themselves at work wanting to ride home or to meet a friend out for dinner, or they didn’t bike to work that morning but want to bike home because the weather is nice. Plus, with Divvy bikes, they don’t have to worry about maintenance, storage, or locks.
- Chicagoans will save money. In DC, bike share members save on average $800 per year in travel costs. That’s real money to save up, spend on yourself (hopefully locally), or buy a new bike. Our hope and expectation is that, for folks new to biking, Divvy will help them fall in love with getting around on two wheels.
Over the past couple days, we’ve responded to a lot of questions about what bike share is and how we work. We’ve loved hearing what you’re excited about, what your concerns are, and what information you’d like to know. And we’re doing our best to respond quickly to as much feedback as possible.
This is a great moment for Chicago. We’re working hard to build a new transit system for you, and we’re thrilled you’re along for the ride.