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'Divvy For Everyone' To Offer $5 Memberships To Chicagoans Without Credit Cards

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jul 7, 2015 5:05PM


Two years after launching a bikeshare program people could only use with credit cards or bank accounts, the city has launched a program to offer steeply discounted memberships to Chicagoans who have neither.

"Divvy For Everyone," as the program is called, allows lower-income Chicagoans to sign up for an annual membership for just $5. A full-priced membership to use the bikeshare program for a year is $75, which comes out to about 20 cents a day.

The Chicago Department of Transportation created Divvy For Everyone for low-income Chicagoans who cannot afford the higher cost or do not have credit or debit cards. Since the program launched CDOT officials have said they were working to make Divvy more accessible to these residents for the first time. The bike-share kiosks only accept payment by card—a barrier to entry for the estimated 12 percent of Chicagoans who do not have bank accounts.

To qualify as low-income for the program, a single person would need to make less than $35,310 a year. A two-person household would need to make less than $47,790 a year. Eligible users will need to sign up for Divvy in person at one of the city's five LISC Financial Opportunity Centers, according to the program's website.

The announcement comes a few months into the city's roll out of a massive bikeshare expansion project that has put more Divvy stations into some of the city's lowest-income communities, many of which were not served by Divvy until now.

The program is funded by a $75,000 grant from the Better Bike Share Program, which helps funds improvements to bikeshare programs around the country, according to city officials.