The City of Evanston is pleased to have received confirmation that Divvy bikes will be ordered in the fall of 2015 in order for the Bike Sharing Program to be in place in spring 2016.
Both the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the City of Chicago have confirmed that IDOT has executed the individual project agreement to fund 70 Divvy bike stations in the Metropolitan Chicago area. Because Chicago is the recipient of the funds, it is responsible for ordering the Divvy bikes and stations. The IDOT grant will fund a total of 70 stations: 50 in Chicago’s Rogers Park and Austin neighborhoods, 12 in Oak Park, and eight in Evanston. The grant funds are provided by IDOT on a reimbursement basis.
Chicago has elected to place a purchase order for these 70 stations with the supplier in the fall of 2015. The city’s primary rationale for this decision is timing. An order placed in May/June would result in delivery in November/December, a season with very low bicycle usage. If the order is placed in October, bikes will be delivered by March 2016.
Divvy and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) have expressed their desire to continue to make the bike share program a success, especially in the suburban expansion project. They stated that they believe this is the best approach for success and will result in the highest benefit for all. Installing stations in the winter would result in limited use of the system, but would still include operational costs.
In the next few months, the City of Evanston and the City of Chicago will come to terms with Divvy regarding funding, operations and maintenance. In July 2015, City of Evanston staff will visit each of the eight locations proposed to the Evanston City Council in order to evaluate the areas and determine the precise location for each of the stations. Staff will also coordinate with the alderman, residents, and adjacent businesses to gather input on the sites. By October 2015, the City plans to finalize the sponsorship and advertiser agreements in order to ensure that funding is in place for the purchase order and launch in March 2016.