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Statistics Show It's Safe To Ride Divvy

By Stephanie Vaughn in News on Feb 11, 2015 10:30PM

Photo credit: Chicajogian

Since its launch nearly two years ago, Chicago’s bike sharing program Divvy boasts an impressive 3.2 million rides. However, a truly remarkable fact worth noting is that there have been only 18 reported accidents involving Divvy bikes, according to data from the Chicago Department of Transportation. With widespread videos of inexperienced (read: clueless) Divvy riders on busy, less-than-bike-friendly roadways like the Dan Ryan Expressway and Lake Shore Drive, and Divvy riders who hog the sidewalk, this revelation seems a little too good to be true.

Not everyone is surprised by these findings:

"It's not really particularly surprising," said Jason Jenkins, education director for the Active Transportation Alliance. "You find similar safety data and crash-rate data from other bike-share programs in other cities."

Since the first bike-sharing program debuted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2007, no one has been killed. In New York, which runs the Citibike program, of 10 million rides taken, 40 people have been injured, Reuters reported last year.

Additional data released by Divvy shows potential reasons why accident rates have been so low:

  • 24-hour pass holders made 47 percent of total trips, but for longer durations than annual members, incurring more overage fees.
  • The average trip duration for 24-hour pass holders was just over 30 minutes while for members it was only 12 minutes.
  • The average trip distance for 24-hour pass holders was 1.8 miles while for members it was 1.6 miles.
  • When it comes to greater-than-average trip distances, compared to members, 24-hour pass users made 25 percent more trips of two miles or longer.
  • Only 29.2 percent of trips by members and casual users exceeded two miles and only 5.8 percent of trips exceeded four miles.

And then there’s the “Tank Factor” to consider:

"The Divvy bike is designed for safety," Greenberger said, "from its sturdy frame, blinking lights and a design that's made for cyclists to sit upright."

"It's a tank," he said.