Mayor Emanuel announced a “Divvy for Everyone” program Tuesday morning, allowing Chicago residents with low incomes affordable access to the popular bike-share program.
Under the program, residents with incomes below $35,000 who do not have a credit or debit card, will qualify for a $5 annual Divvy membership, according to a statement from the mayor’s office. Regular annual price is $75.
“In two years Divvy has grown to more neighborhoods and become a transit option for more residents, but cost was still a barrier for too many people,” Mayor Emanuel said in the statement.
“Divvy only works when everyone has a chance to use it. Today we are bridging the gaps by offering $5 annual memberships so more residents can benefit from Divvy, regardless of their ability to pay,” he said.
The program, nicknamed “D4E,” will provide one-year, one-time memberships for $5 with no credit or debit card required. Applicants must appear in person at any of the five Local Initiatives Support Corporation Financial Opportunity Centers—located in Bronzeville, Englewood, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and Ravenswood—and provide proof of income and residency. They will be charged $5 if they qualify and be issued a Divvy member key on-site.
The city is also exploring options for people to be able to continue memberships at full price after the initial year, including payment plans, cash payment options, and a pathway to credit-building and financial empowerment programs, according to the statement.
The program is being made possible by Divvy sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and a $75,000 grant from the Better Bike Share Partnership.
The Divvy bike-sharing system features thousands of bikes at stations across the city available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.