The city of Chicago says its bicycle-sharing program is poised to become the biggest in North America next year thanks to a $3 million federal grant that will allow it to expand.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the funding Wednesday and said it would allow the city to install 75 more sidewalk docking stations full of the bright blue bikes. It already had plans for 100 new stations next year.
“Chicagoans have thoroughly embraced Divvy and the idea of bike sharing as part of their everyday commutes,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “These additional resources will allow us to extend the system so even more residents and visitors can use this new transit system to get around the city and its neighborhoods.”
With the extra funding, the system known as Divvy will grow to 475 stations next year. By number of stations, that would put Chicago's system at the top of the rankings in the United States and Canada.
“As Divvy expands into more neighborhoods, and we build a 650-mile bikeway network throughout our communities, Chicago is quickly becoming the best biking city in North America,” CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein said in a statement. “A large bike sharing system with better cycling infrastructure will encourage more Chicagoans to use bicycles as a regular means of transportation.”
The expansion will also spread the bike share system to the borders of Chicago and into Oak Park and Evanston.
Since Chicago's system opened four months ago, it has logged 650,000 trips. Some 11,000 people have signed up for annual memberships.