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Monday, September 29, 2014
Divvy Bikes are coming to Evanston!
Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $3 million state investment in the Divvy bicycle-sharing program that will add 700 new bikes and 70 docking stations in Evanston, Oak Park and Chicago neighborhoods.
Director of the Governor's Office of Management and Budget Jerry Stermer, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, and 8th Ward Ald. Ann Rainey shared the news at today's Bike the Ridge event in Evanston.(See photos below.)
The grant will allow for eight stations in Evanston, with the exact locations to be determined by the City Council in the next few months. The state will provide $432,000 in funding with an approximate $108,000 match from the City. Final numbers will be established as an agreement is developed with the City of Chicago in the coming weeks. Evanston funding will come from various transportation sources within the City budget and from potential private sector station sponsors. Stations are expected to be in place by Spring/Summer 2015.
The City is also in discussions with Northwestern University to participate in a program to add stations at and near campus.
Below is the press release issued by the Office of Governor Pat Quinn:
Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Expand Divvy Program in Chicago and Suburbs
State Commitment Will Help Regional Bike-Sharing Program Reach Oak Park and Evanston
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $3 million state investment in the Divvy bicycle-sharing program that will add 700 new bikes and 70 docking stations in Evanston, Oak Park and Chicago neighborhoods. The investment will be supported by an additional $750,000 from the three cities, enabling the popular bike-sharing program to expand and provide a green transportation option in the suburbs for the first time. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect the environment and increase transportation opportunities for the people of Illinois.
“We’ve worked hard to make Illinois the most environmentally-friendly state in the nation and that includes boosting access to green transportation throughout our state,” Governor Quinn said. “The Divvy program has proven to be a successful and innovative way to commute, navigate congested city streets and explore vibrant Chicago communities. Expanding Divvy outside of the city limits mean fewer cars on the roads and gives more residents and visitors the fun opportunity to take a ride.”
“Divvy has been a tremendous success, but Chicago’s bike share system will be even better when more areas of the city are served,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “As we expand Divvy to more Chicago neighborhoods, we welcome Governor Quinn’s plan to extend this popular program to neighboring towns for more people to travel in a fun, affordable and healthy way.”
“I would like to thank Governor Quinn and the Illinois Department of Transportation for helping to make bike transportation accessible to all Evanston residents,” Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said. “Biking not only lowers our collective carbon footprint, it supports healthy, sustainable living, and that’s good news for the whole community."
The investment will cover 50 new docking stations and additional bicycles in Chicago’s Garfield Park, Austin, Rogers Park, West Rogers Park and other communities. Oak Park will receive 12 docking stations and Evanston will get eight. The new equipment will be installed next year. Chicago is providing $550,000 and Evanston and Oak Park a combined $200,000 in local match to the state’s $3 million investment, for a total of $3,750,000.The expanded bike-sharing program is a public-private partnership between the state of Illinois, City of Chicago, Evanston, Oak Park, and the bike share company Alta. Earlier this year IDOT released its first Bike Transportation Plan which encouraged the use of more bike-sharing programs such as Divvy to help create a more sustainable multimodal transportation system in the state.
Created by the Chicago Department of Transportation in 2013, Divvy is Chicago’s bike-sharing system, with 3,000 bikes and 300 stations across the city. The expansion funding announced today will add to the 175 stations and 1,750 bikes slated for spring 2015, bringing the total to 545 stations. Divvy is intended to provide Chicagoans and visitors with an additional transportation option, and leverages Chicago’s public transit system to help commuters complete the first or last few miles of their trip. In a recent survey, 76 percent of members have used the bike share system to get to and from a public transit station.
Divvy is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It is designed to be used for short point-to-point trips or as alternative option for multimodal commutes. Users can pick up a bike from a self-service docking station and return it to any other station nearest their destination
For more information on the Divvy program and a map of station locations, visit www.divvybikes.com.