Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull and Blackhawks mascot Tommy the Hawk celebrated the opening of a new Divvy bike station at the United Center, 1900 W. Madison St., on Monday.“Divvy is a great way for fans to travel to and from the United Center for a game or concert,” said Gabe Klein, Chicago Department of Transportation commissioner.
Chicago launched its new bike-sharing program in June and has already recorded more than 310,000 trips this summer.
“Here Divvy is helping the community at large — also folks who are coming here for the Blackhawks and Bulls,” Klein said.
Transit officials hope Divvy will become an alternative for fans who pack the stadium for events such as hockey and basketball.
“There has always been a challenge in this community after the games [to get] cabs,” said Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) “Now they have an alternative which is to be able to get a bike and ride wherever you go.”
This station is one of 20 new stations on the West Side of Chicago and one of 206 across the city. Klein said the city will have 300 stations by the end of next month and 400 by next spring.
“This is an economic development. It is also healthy environmentally. You stop emissions from getting in the air and you also help people become healthier and look skinnier,” Burnett said.
Burnett said the bikes are a good way for tourists to explore the city.
“Tourists wonder what they can do in the city,” Burnett said. “For $7 you can take a day and bike around [the city.]”
Divvy bikes are $7 for 24 hours or $75 for a one-year membership. A frequent criticism of the Divvy program is that bikes are not available where they are needed. Klein said program officials are working on “rebalancing” bikes by taking them to stations where there is high demand.
Sidney Green, former Bulls player and team ambassador, said the bikes are another step in the right direction for the West Side neighborhood and he thanked CDOT and Burnett for their support. He also said the Divvy is especially made for tall men, like him.
“I’m 6 feet, 9 inches and I can fit on this bike,” Green said. “If I can fit on this bike there is no excuse for you all not to come and enjoy this wonderful opportunity we have for sharing this bike in the city of Chicago.”