By Andy Ambrosius
Get ready to see more of those baby blue bikes riding around Lincoln Park, because the Chicago Department of Transportation says it's revving up Divvy station installation starting this week.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that since starting Divvy in June with just 70 bike kiosks, riders have already taken more than 25,000 trips and ridden an estimated 88,000 miles.
Now Divvy staff plan to launch the program to 300 stations and 3,000 bikes by the end of summer.
Nine of the more-than 20 of stations planned for Lincoln Park launched during the program's first phase.
“Chicagoans and our visitors have embraced Divvy as a new transportation option, and we are now ready to expand the system so more people can safely and efficiently travel around the city's neighborhoods,” Emanuel said. “In just two weeks, Divvy has made a significant impact on the way people move around Chicago.”
According to Divvy representatives, the exact dates when the additional kiosks will open this summer remains uncertain.
"We're still working on the order, but should have all of the logistical issues cleared up by the end of the week and will put out a list then," a representative with the company said. "We'll be building from the central core of stations on the ground now, and expanding the network into the neighborhoods to the south, north, and west."
Once completed in spring of 2014, Divvy will be in 400 neighborhood locations with 4,000 bikes.
Each Divvy station has a touchscreen kiosk, station map and a docking system that releases bikes using a member key or ride code.
Customers can purchase $75 annual memberships or $7 24-Hour Passes, which allow riders unlimited trips in that period. The first 30 minutes of every trip are included in the cost of the membership or pass, and incremental fees apply to trips that exceed 30 minutes.
Annual members use a personal key used to quickly unlock bikes from any station. More than 2,500 Chicagoans have already signed up for Divvy Annual Memberships at DivvyBikes.com.
Of the more than 25,000 bike trips made from June 28 through July 11, more than 6,000 were made by annual members, and 19,000 were from customers who purchased 24-Hour passes.
With 3,000 trips made on July 6, each Divvy bike averaged more than four trips that day.