A new type of bike arrived Wednesday in Chicago, though later than expected.
Pedal-assist electric bikes are now available for residents. The effort was led by Lyft, the company that runs the Divvy bike-share program, and the Chicago Department of Transportation. Riders can find the bikes at stations for the new bikes, or at public bike racks for the traditional models.
Lyft originally planned to roll out 1,900 electric-assist bikes last fall. When that didn’t happen due to bureaucratic hurdles, the city announced 3,500 electric bikes would be released in March across the city. Now in late July, the wait is over, according to news releases from the city.
The city’s transportation department is giving out a $5 credit for up to 30 minutes of electric bike riding and usage fees, according to a news release. Residents riding around the city can use built-in cable locks to secure their bikes.
The Chicago Department of Transportation said Wednesday’s launch builds upon its plan to expand Divvy stations to more city neighborhoods. The bike-share program announced earlier this month that it plans to add 66 Divvy docking stations on the Far South Side by September. It also plans to add stations to the West Side later in the year, and more stations to the Northwest Side by mid-2021. This will bring 10,500 more electric bikes to the city by 2021.
The expansion will eventually include 16,500 total bikes and 800 stations, adding more than 200 jobs to Divvy’s operations in Chicago, according to a news release. It wasn’t immediately clear how long the rollout of electric bikes will take.
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