Chicago Department of Transportation

Applications Are Open For Chicago's 5,000 Bike Giveaway Program. Here's How to Apply to Get a Free Bike

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Applications for Bike Chicago, a new program that will giveaway 5,000 free bicycles, as well as "maintenance and safety equipment" to Chicagoans by 2026, opened Monday.

The program is part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot's $188 million Chicago Recovery Plan, in conjunction with the city's goal to "increase affordable and climate friendly mobility options."

“Every resident in our city deserves equitable access to safe, reliable, and affordable clean transportation options,” Lightfoot said in a statement.

The program will begin this summer by distributing at least 500 bikes to eligible residents. It will gradually increase distribution until 5,000 bikes have been provided, the city said.

Here's how to apply to get a bike.

In order to be eligible to apply for a bike, applicants must:

  • Be a Chicago resident
  • Be at least 14 years old
  • Have a household income at or below 100% of the Area Median Income for Chicago (for instance, under $104,200 for a family of 4)
  • Not not already own a bicycle
  • Live in an area that faces higher mobility hardship (see this map for more)

Those under 18 will need a guardian present when picking up the bike and equipment.

How to apply

Paper and online applications will be available starting July 18 on this page. Applications close Aug. 4.

When will bikes be distributed?

According to the CDOT, bikes for qualifying residents will begin to be distributed in August 2022. The will continue to be distributed each spring and summer of the following four years until 5,000 bikes are distributed.

Depending on demand, the city may implement a lottery for years 2-4 of the program for residents that qualify.

Here's more information.

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