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Divvy Logo svg.svg
Owner City of Chicago
Locale Chicago, IL, U.S.
Transit type Bicycle sharing system
Number of stations 580[1]
Daily ridership 13,000 (Sep 2014) [2]
Annual ridership 3,200,000 (Feb 2016)[3]
Website divvybikes.com
Began operation June 28, 2013
Operator(s) Motivate
Number of vehicles 5800 bikes[1]
Divvy installation at Pritzker Park
Dearborn & Washington Divvy Station, Chicago Loop.

Divvy is a bicycle sharing system in the City of Chicago and two adjacent suburbs operated by Motivate for the Chicago Department of Transportation. It operates 5800 bicycles at 580 stations in an area bounded by 87th Street on the south, Central Street in Evanston on the north, Rainbow Beach Park near South Shore Drive on the east, and Harlem Avenue in Oak Park on the west.[1][4]


In 2007, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley visited Paris, France, where he tested their Vélib' bicycle sharing system and was "greatly impressed".[5] He determined that a similar system would work well in Chicago.[6] 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.[7]

In May 2012, the City of Chicago awarded Alta Bicycle Share (acquired by Bikeshare Holdings LLC in 2014 and renamed to Motivate[8]) a contract for "The Purchase, Installation, and Operation of a Bicycle Sharing System".[9]

On June 28, 2013, Divvy launched with 750 bikes at 75 stations in an area from the Loop north to Berwyn Ave, west to Kedzie Ave, and south to 59th St.[10][11] A planned expansion to the number of stations in Spring 2014 was delayed to 2015 due to supply shortages.[12]

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." [13]

The unionization effort came after employees of CitiBike in NYC, owned by the same parent company Motivate (formerly Alta Bicycle Share), joined TWU Local 100 in September 2014 [14] and alongside similar efforts by employees of Motivate (formerly Alta Bicycle Share) in Boston (Hubway) [15] and Washington, DC (Capital Bikeshare).[16]


The name Divvy is a playful reference to sharing (“divvy it up”). Divvy’s light-blue color palette and four 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 project's research, conceptual brand development, and naming phases; Firebelly team led the identity design, communication system and brand guideline phases.[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.[17]

The one-piece aluminum frame and handlebars conceal cables to protect them from vandalism and inclement weather. The heavy-duty tires are designed to be puncture-resistant and filled with nitrogen to maintain proper inflation pressure longer.[18] 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,[19] and are supplied by PBSC Urban Solutions, who also supplies docking stations for the system.

Through the end of October 2014, the Chicago Blackhawks are partnering with Divvy to release five black and red Blackhawks design bikes.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Vivanco, Leonor (29 December 2016). "Divvy approaches milestone: 10 million rides". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "New Divvy Data Now Available!". divvybikes.tumblr.com. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Divvy Data Reveals Our Most Popular Destinations of 2015". Divvy: Chicago's newest transit system. Archived from the original on 15 February 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "System Map". DivvyBikes. Archived from the original on 30 January 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Chicago eyes Paris self-service bike scheme". AFP. 11 September 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Paris' Popular Bike Program May Inspire Others". NPR. 15 September 2007. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Doster, Adam (26 April 2013). "What Chicago Can Learn From Other Cities' Bike-Sharing Programs". Chicago Magazine. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bikeshare Holdings LLC Signs Agreement to Acquire Alta Bicycle Share". motivateco.com/. 28 October 2014. Archived from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Contract 26459 Details". City of Chicago. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Chicago Welcomes Divvy Bike Sharing System". Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "City's Bike Sharing Program Launches Today". Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  12. ^ Weissmann, Dan. "Bike-sharing's big problem: missing bikes". Marketplace. American Public Media. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  14. ^ https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/10/14/hubway-should-extend-good-efforts-its-own-employees/pA8zRhKA3AI75AwcC6GWJL/story.html#comments Archived 2016-03-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  17. ^ Byrne, John (1 August 2013). "Chicago's 'unicorn': new red Divvy bicycle". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  18. ^ Fisher, Jennifer (13 August 2013). "Divvy Bike Sharing May Come to Evanston". Evanston Patch. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Rio Tinto Alcan and BIXI: a partnership on a roll" (Press release). Rio Tinto Alcan. 2008-10-28. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-09-29. 

External links[edit]