Chicago Gears Up for Bike Share

Not to be outdone by its big (and small) city brethren, the nation's third largest city is launching its long-awaited, and relatively secretive, bike-sharing program next month. And according to Paul Merrion, they're starting with a bang.
May 29, 2013, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Call it the big bang theory of bicycling," says Merrion. "While New York had a map of bike station locations and a website signing up users for months before its system went live on Memorial Day, Chicago plans to compress that public prelude down to about two weeks."

"By mid-June, the first 75 solar-powered kiosks will be installed and the city will start renting some 750 bikes, with 300 stations and 3,000 bikes available by the end of this summer, expanding to 400 sites and 4,000 bikes by next summer."

"New York saw protests and at least one lawsuit from condo owners and businesses after they found out where bike stations were going," notes Merrion. "Chicago has avoided that kind of controversy by keeping details under wraps, but now there could be potholes ahead."

“'We're going to launch this thing all at once,' said Sean Wiedel, assistant commissioner for transportation and the city's point man for the program, dubbed 'Divvy.'"

True to their word, the city opened registration for "founding" memberships today at noon, and released a map of the planned station locations for each of the program's five initial phases of implementation.

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Published on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in Crain's Chicago Business
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