Austin is one of several West and Southwest side neighborhoods getting more Divvy bike-sharing stations.
The next phase of Divvy’s expansion includes 3,500 new e-bikes and investments in new bikeways to serve the Divvy expansion area, which includes Austin.
A total of 20 Divvy stations are planned for North Austin and West Humboldt Park, building off the existing network in South Austin that was installed in 2016.
The Chicago Department of Transportation has been working closely with stakeholders to plan local station networks as well as identifying 45 miles of new bikeways that will be installed this year and next in Austin, North Lawndale and Belmont Cragin.
CDOT partnered with community stakeholders to identify key destinations and develop a plan for implementing an on-street network of bikeways starting this year. The effort will also include the installation of up to 100 bike racks in each of the three communities.
The Divvy engagement team is soliciting feedback and ideas from community members before finalizing the locations. Residents may notice yard signs in proposed locations, asking residents to “Imagine a Divvy station Here” and directing them to the online survey at bit.ly/divvyexpansionsurvey.
“Every Chicago community is unique. CDOT and Divvy want to build a network that supports Austin residents’ daily needs and interests,” the city’s transportation department said in a statement. “We’re excited to create new connections to great local assets like La Follette Park and the West Chicago Avenue Branch of the Chicago Public Library, as well as transit and retail.”
In a key change, CDOT and its partner Lyft, which manages Divvy operations, will be serving the new neighborhoods exclusively with e-bikes which have the advantage of lock-to capability, meaning Divvy users can lock them with a built-in cable-lock to a regular bike rack, signposts or any other legal bike parking spot.
This gives riders more flexibility and options when biking around the city and ending a ride. A trip on a classic Divvy bike can only be ended at a traditional Divvy bike share station. Riders are encouraged to plan their trips using the Divvy app.
The new service areas will be equipped only with Lyft’s lightweight e-stations featuring rubber mats made with 25% Nike Grind rubber from Nike’s footwear manufacturing scraps in the top layer and 100% recycled tires in the bottom layer.
E-bikes use pedal-assist technology to boost riders’ pedal power, making it easier for people of all riding abilities to ride and help people make longer trips with ease. Divvy first introduced e-bikes in 2020. The addition of 3,500 new e-bikes will double the total deployed to 7,000.
With the addition of new neighborhoods in the coming months, Divvy will cover 190 square miles in Chicago, building on its status as the largest bike share system in North America.
When Divvy, which launched in 2013, completes its full expansion, it will include 16,500 bikes and more than 800 stations. The growth of the system is estimated to create over 200 additional jobs at Divvy in Chicago.