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Chicago's Bike Share Program To Become Nation's Biggest in 2014

Thursday, November 07, 2013 - 03:27 PM

A Divvy bike share bike in Chicago (Opacity/flickr)

Divvy is poised to eclipse New York as the nation's largest bike share program -- at least in terms of stations -- next year.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Wednesday that Divvy's expansion is being funded in part by $3 million from a U.S. Department of Transportation program.

Divvy, which launched in June, currently has 300 bike share stations. The DOT funding will add 75 bike share stations to its network, on top of an already-planned-for 100 station expansion slated for next year. Sum total of new Divvy stations in 2014: 475.

Number of New York Citi Bike stations: 331. (New York's timeline for its promised expansion remains unclear, though the city promises soon to offer a timeline for an already planned phase-in of 1000 more bikes.)

New Yorkers could almost hear the crowing from 800 miles away.

"Chicago is quickly becoming the best biking city in North America,” said (outgoing) Chicago DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein.

“Chicagoans have thoroughly embraced Divvy and the idea of bike sharing as part of their everyday commutes,” said Emanuel.  “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.”

But in terms of sheer ridership, New York handily outdoes Chicago. Whereas Divvy has 11,000 annual members, New York is approaching 94,000.

Asked Friday about New York's expansion plans, Janette Sadik-Khan, speaking on Mayor Bloomberg's radio show, said "We're currently working on that, we're having discussions," but did not offer details.

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Comments [4]

Chang from NYC

Please please, don't generalize NYC. Manhattan and other boroughs are different as an apple and a pineapple especially transportation and traffic situation.

Dec. 12 2013 03:09 AM
A

what about ridership per day comparisons?

Nov. 08 2013 05:55 PM
Paul from Montreal.

Montreal's Bixi system had 450 stations in 2013 - I'm not sure what the number will be in 2014 but I suspect that it will be more than Chicago's Divvy. It is currently the most used system in North America, with the highest density of stations and the largest number of trips per day.

Nov. 08 2013 02:22 PM
TOM from Brooklyn

NYC with 94k paid-up members is also funded with private sponsor funding(CitiBank & MC commitments, net of the sum siphoned off to Montreal)and no government funding--yet. Cabi(DC, et al.) with 20k-30k members is all federal money. Now we see Chicago, smaller still, with only 11k paid-up members will nearly double in 2014 with an infusion of only $3 million federal funding.

We need to see the DIVVY biz plan.

Nov. 08 2013 10:48 AM

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