Replace 9/22/20, 2:15 PM: In line with Chicago Division of Transportation spokesperson Mike Claffey, the choice to empty Divvy stations alongside Black Lives Matter protest routes was made by CDOT and Divvy, not the police division and the Workplace of Emergency Administration and Communications, and was accomplished with the intention of creating it simpler for demonstrators to search out parking after driving bike-share to the motion, and was subsequently “in assist of the Black Lives Matter motion.”
Anecdotally, it’s appeared that Chicago has been a part of this summer time’s nationwide biking increase, as residents search socially-distanced transportation and recreation choices through the COVID-19. However now we’ve obtained some information to again up that hunch: The Chicago Division of Transportation not too long ago introduced that August was the Divvy bike-share system’s largest ridership month ever with 612,928 rides taken, a 3.9 p.c enhance in comparison with final yr.
A part of that may absolutely be attributed to the truth that there are extra Divvy bikes on the road than ever earlier than, as a result of CDOT and Lyft, the Divvy concessionaire, are within the midst of increasing the system into the Far South Facet and rolling out the brand new electric-assist Divvies. Greater than 50,000 of the journeys have been taken on e-Divvies.
Alternatively, with so many individuals working from residence and plenty of leisure venues shuttered through the pandemic, there are fewer locations to journey to. After which there have been the ill-advised nighttime shutdowns of the system through the civil unrest in mid-August. “It looks as if the overall biking increase performed a task, in addition to the very good summer time climate we had throughout August,” mentioned CDOT spokesperson Mike Claffey.
Office shutdowns do appear to have negatively affected rides by Divvy annual members, which have been down 19.2 p.c in August in comparison with final yr. However journeys taken by way of single-ride or 24-hour passes have been up by a staggering 54.6 p.c year-over-year. That means that many residents have been dipping their toes within the Divvy waters recently. That quantity definitely hasn’t been pushed by an inflow of vacationer site visitors, which has been just about nonexistent through the coronavirus disaster.
CDOT additionally supplied numbers on the Divvy system enlargement and electrification. Over 800 e-Divvies have been launched because the black bikes first debuted on July 29. Twenty-eight conventional Divvy stations and three “e-stations” (easy bike rack installations for parking the e-Divvies, which have built-in locks) have been put in up to now on the South Facet.
In different Divvy information, transit routes and stations have been added to the Divvy app to assist with multimodal route planning. Three Divvy For Everyone sign-up facilities for $5 memberships for lower-income residents are again open after being closed early on through the pandemic. That closes a reverse-loophole that in impact made it inconceivable to join a D4E membership if you happen to met the revenue requirement for the low cost, however aren’t signed up for public assist, which is a requirement for registering for D4E on-line.
Divvy has additionally been offering loaner bikes for numerous group rides in Black neighborhoods on the South and West Sides. These included the Street Love Ride in North Lawndale, hosted by Boxing Out Negativity and Equiticity, which drew 400 folks, with a lot of them utilizing the 100 Divvy cycles that have been accessible freed from cost. Divvy additionally introduced 100 bikes to We Hold You Rollin’s fifth Annual Legacy Bike Journey within the Riverdale neighborhood space, which was partly a celebration of Divvy increasing to this space. WKYR’s chief Deloris Lucas tirelessly lobbied for Divvy enlargement to the Far South Facet.
One of many different claims from CDOT about Divvy’s assist for Black communities was extra of a head-scratcher. “In assist of the Black Lives Matter motion, and in cooperation with [the Chicago Police Department] and the Workplace of Emergency Administration, we proactively emptied Divvy stations alongside deliberate demonstration routes,” CDOT mentioned in a memo. The police and OEMC have pushed for downtown CTA and Divvy shutdowns as a misguided response to civil unrest that hurts the most marginalized Chicagoans. Nonetheless, it’s not clear how CDOT making it harder for protesters to bike residence after collaborating in an indication may probably be interpreted as supporting Black Lives Matter.