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Divvy Logo svg.svg
Owner City of Chicago
Locale Chicago
Transit type Bicycle sharing system
Number of stations 300 [1]
(400 planned, initial stage)
Daily ridership 13,000[2]
Website divvybikes.com
Began operation June 28, 2013
Operator(s) Alta Bicycle Share
Number of vehicles 3000 Bixi bikes
(4000 planned, initial stage)
Divvy installation at Pritzker Park
Dearborn & Washington Divvy Station, Chicago Loop.

Divvy is a bicycle sharing system that launched in Chicago on June 28, 2013 initially with 750 bikes at 75 stations spanning from the Loop north to Berwyn Ave, west to Kedzie Ave, and south to 59th St. The system was planned to grow to 4,000 bicycles at 400 stations by Spring 2014,[3][4] however supply shortages have delayed expansion to 2015.[5] Stations are planned to be installed as far north as Touhy Ave. (7200N),[6] as far west as Central Park Ave. (3600W), and as far south as 63rd St. (6300S).[7] Alta Bicycle Share was selected [8] to develop and operate the publicly funded [9] bike share system.


In 2007, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley visited Paris, France, where he personally tested out their Vélib' bicycle sharing system and was "greatly impressed".[10] He determined that a similar system would work well in Chicago.[11] After returning from his European trip, Mayor Daley requested proposals from private partners to create a bike share system for Chicago. Two potential operators came forward, but submitted plans that would have been too expensive for the city to fund.[12]

In May 2012 the City of Chicago awarded Alta Bicycle Share a contract for "The Purchase, Installation, and Operation of a Bicycle Sharing System".[13]

Unionization - Transport Workers' Union Local 100[edit]

In October 2014, TWU (Transport Workers' Union) Local 100 of New York City filed an election petition with the NLRB seeking to represent "almost 70 full-time and part-time workers, including mechanics and truck drivers, who are paid $12 to $16 an hour." [14]

The unionization effort came after employees of CitiBike in NYC, owned by the same parent company Alta Bicycle Share, joined TWU Local 100 in September 2014 [15] and alongside similar efforts by employees of Alta Bicycle Share in Boston (Hubway) [16] and Washington, DC (Capital Bikeshare).[17]


The name Divvy is a playful reference to sharing (think: “divvy it up”). Divvy’s light-blue color palette and six-pointed stars evoke the Chicago flag. The double Vs in the Divvy logo refer to the shared-lane markers painted on bike lanes throughout the city, and are a nod to how the city prioritizes bike safety, paving the way for new riders.[citation needed]

The naming, logo and brand strategy for Chicago’s new bike share program was developed through a partnership between the global design firm IDEO and the Chicago brand strategy studio Firebelly Design. IDEO led the research, conceptual brand development, and naming phase of the project; Firebelly team led the designing of the identity, the system of communication pieces and developed the brand guidelines.[citation needed]

The bikes[edit]

The bicycles are utility bicycles with a unisex step-through frame that provides a lower center of gravity and ease of access to a wide range of heights. All bikes are painted "Chicago blue", with the exception of one "unicorn bike": a bright red bike, dubbed #Divvyred.[18]

The one-piece aluminum frame and handlebars conceal cables in an effort to protect them from vandalism and inclement weather. The heavy-duty tires are designed to be puncture-resistant and are filled with nitrogen to maintain proper inflation pressure longer.[19] Front and rear flashing LED lights are integrated into the frame, which weighs approximately 40 lb (18 kg). Divvy bikes have three speeds, a bell, and a front rack. The bikes are designed by industrial designer Michel Dallaire and built in the Saguenay, Quebec region by Cycles Devinci, with aluminum provided by Rio Tinto Alcan.[20]

Through the end of October 2014, the Chicago Blackhawks are partnering with Divvy to release 5 black and red Blackhawks design bikes.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ DivvyBikes. "Twitter/DivvyBikes: Yesterday we put down our 300th...". Twitter. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "New Divvy Data Now Available!". divvybikes.tumblr.com. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Chicago Welcomes Divvy Bike Sharing System". Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "City's Bike Sharing Program Launches Today". Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Weissmann, Dan. "Bike-sharing's big problem: missing bikes". Marketplace. American Public Media. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "49th Ward Proposed Divvy Stations". Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Divvy Bikes | Your bike sharing system in Chicago". Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Hilkevitch, Jon (25 April 2013). "Chicago ready to roll out bike-sharing". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "About Divvy Bikes". Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Chicago eyes Paris self-service bike scheme". AFP. 11 September 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Paris' Popular Bike Program May Inspire Others". NPR. 15 September 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Doster, Adam (26 April 2013). "What Chicago Can Learn From Other Cities’ Bike-Sharing Programs". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Contract 26459 Details". City of Chicago. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  14. ^ http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-divvy-union-1104-biz-20141103-story.html
  15. ^ http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/10/14/hubway-should-extend-good-efforts-its-own-employees/pA8zRhKA3AI75AwcC6GWJL/story.html#comments
  16. ^ http://www.boston.com/business/news/2014/10/06/hubway-workers-seeking-union-representation/Nk9Y2nrjQlUOsbddW4AQnM/story.html
  17. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/10/24/d-c-bikeshare-workers-look-to-unionize-and-build-a-nationwide-bikeshare-powerhouse/
  18. ^ Byrne, John (1 August 2013). "Chicago's 'unicorn': new red Divvy bicycle". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  19. ^ Fisher, Jennifer (13 August 2013). "Divvy Bike Sharing May Come to Evanston". Evanston Patch. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Rio Tinto Alcan and BIXI: a partnership on a roll" (Press release). Rio Tinto Alcan. 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  21. ^ [1]

External links[edit]