The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicago B-Cycle Launches in the Loop

By aaroncynic in Miscellaneous on Jul 30, 2010 7:30PM

B-Cycle stations
Chicago B-Cycle, the bike sharing program we told you about last month began today at six locations in the loop. Modeled after similar sharing programs in Denver and Paris (JCDecaux, who owns the share program in Paris, curiously manages the ads on CTA bus shelters), sharers can either pay an hourly rate or purchase 30, 60 or 90 day passes. As many of our commenters pointed out before, the sharing program seems a bit pricey when one can own a bicycle for the cost of a few “all day” temporary passes.

Josh Squire, founder of Bike and Roll, the company managing the Chicago B-Cycle, says the rentals are really for quick trips. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Squire said “Let's say you work at 541 N. Fairbanks and want to do an errand at City Hall. You take a bike to Daley Plaza, leave it there. Somebody else might take that bike and go to the John Hancock to eat lunch. A resident at the Hancock might take it to the museum.”

While having access to a bicycle for a fast errand in the loop is nice and hopefully will encourage cycling all around, we’re still wondering how well this “experiment” will work. Right now, Chicago B-Cycle only has 100 bikes to rent and with the location relatively small, it’s very possible it could end up as merely a tourist attraction. Here's hoping the program isn't plagued by the same theft issues that plagued the company in Paris.