I, myself, wanted to use the Divvy bikes this week, but I was hesitant to even try while it was snowing. Oh, before the snow came, I did take Divvy out for the first time.
I spent an entire day going on errands, hoping from one Divvy bike to another. It kinda felt like the game Grand Theft Auto. I would just grab a new bike when I needed it, and then get rid of it when I was done. Except, this was all legal, and very few individuals got punched by me.
I like Divvy. Even though they do not have a station close to my home, nor are there any plans to add one...I still decided to join the club. I bought a yearly membership. I got a good deal by going through Groupon. For just $65, I got a one-year "Gear" membership ($125 value). The "Gear" membership includes:
One year of unlimited 30-minute bike trips
Five 24-hour passes to share with family and friends
Divvy beanie (winter hat, not a stuffed animal, as I thought)
Discounts at bike shops and other local businesses
A regular yearly memberships costs $75, but does not include the extra passes or the hat. I am pretty sure that it is also not worth an additional $50 value to normally get just that stuff. Just saying.
|I can ride my bike throughout the winter as long as I have my "snow tires"|
Now I consider myself a fairly smart person, with a quick wit and ability to think on my feet, but once I got to the Divvy bike station, with my brand new keychain, (which is also my yearly pass), I couldn't figure out how to use it. I went through all of the selections on the screen at the bike station and saw nothing about members. My keychain also said nothing. Since I don't have a phone, I couldn't call Divvy, so I just went without a bike.
When I got home, I went through the material that Divvy sent me with my keychain.
So, allow me to explain.
|Photo from Amie Bauer|
With the increase boom of bikers, Divvy should do fine. In fact, it would be a good thing, if more people got out on bikes and became more active. Exercise is good, and it is also a cheap alternative for transportation. That is partially why I am against the idea of a bike tax.
According to the Chicago Tribune;
"South Side Alderman Pat Dowell, 3rd, floated a plan to charge bike owners an annual $25 registration fee as a way to raise millions of dollars next year and provide an alternative to the mayor's proposal to hike cable television taxes."NBC Chicago pointed out;
"opponents accused her of wanting to subsidize coach potatoes at the expense of healthy cyclists."One opponent wrote online;
"I ride because I'm poor, I can't find a job, no income, I can't afford a car or bus, I cant afford any fees! Only way to get anywhere I need to go. Fees will prevent me from basic needs. Its hard enough to survive without any fees. Let have my freedom on my bike."Anyway, I do not believe that fees could be enforced without an infrastructure where bikes could safely ride on the streets of Chicago.