From Rich Milz via the Chicago Tribune
The first 700 bicycles painted “Chicago blue” will make their debut on city streets Friday, vastly outnumbered and upstaged by red and black.
For any celebrants along the Blackhawks parade route who might want to pedal part of the way on one of the new Divvy bike-share program bikes, though, you’re on thin ice.
Of the more than 40 bicycle docking stations scheduled to be in operation Friday for the launch of the service, none of the handful of stations along the Hawks Stanley Cup victory route will be open, officials said.
“It’s for the safety of the people and the equipment,” said Elliot Greenberger, marketing director for Divvy, which is operated by Alta Bicycle Share Inc., Chicago’s partner in the $22 million bike-share experiment.
Seventy-five stations downtown and in River North will be fully stocked with the three-speed bikes and ready to roll by Sunday, Greenberger said.
The Divvy program was to begin June 14. It was delayed because equipment arrived late and over concerns that more testing was needed to avoid software and equipment problems that occurred with the fledgling bike-share program in New York, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
The Divvy’s daily rental fee is $7, which allows an unlimited number of trips up to 30 minutes each over a 24-hour period. After 30 minutes, additional fees apply.
More than 1,500 annual memberships, priced at $75 and $125 based on the features included, have been sold since registration began at the end of May, Greenberger said.
A pre-launch event for up to 200 “founding” annual members will be held at Daley Center Plaza on Thursday evening, officials said. Participants who have RSVP’d and registered their key fobs, which are needed to unlock Divvy bikes at the stations, will be able to check out bikes and ride them to other docking stations.
A list of Divvy stations is posted at each station and available online at divvybikes.com.
Also by Thursday evening, the locations of all active Divvy stations and a real-time tracking system that shows available bikes and empty return slots at each station will be listed on Cyclefinder, an app available for Apple and Android devices.
Under its city contract, Divvy must operate 3,000 bikes and 300 stations by the end of August and expand to about 4,000 bicycles and 400 stations covering much of the city by next spring.