Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chicago’s Answer to The Last Mile Issue

One of the problems with transit is the “last mile” issue. That is, getting from your train or bus stop to your final destination. If all development were transit-oriented and transit blanketed every city, this wouldn't be much of an issue. Unfortunately, there are a lot of transit service gaps, particularly in Chicago. The city’s answer to getting transit riders from their transit stop to their final destination is bike sharing.

Divvy bicycle. Source: activetrans.org

Next month, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will launch its new bike sharing program called Divvy. The system is launching with 75 bike sharing stations, mostly in the Loop and River North. By this time next year the city expects to have around 400 stations hosting 4,000 bicycles scattered throughout the city. Divvy is designed to be used for trips under 30 minutes. CDOT is mainly targeting transit users who need to travel that last mile to their final destination, but the bikes are also expected to replace transit use and will likely be used by tourists as well.

Since taking office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been a big proponent of cycling. He pledged to install 100 miles of protected bike lanes within his first four years. A little over a year after Rahm took office, Chicago is well on its way to reaching that goal with 11.65 miles of protected bike lanes and 18.45 miles of buffered bike lanes already installed. Divvy is just the next step in increasing bike use throughout Chicago and making Chicago a bike-friendly metropolis.


Edited by: Darwin M

1 comment:

  1. Interesting topic and solution, Matt. Do you know if Chicago has been looking at the last mile issue from a broader lens and Bike-Sharing is the answer to that or do you think it is the other way around? It is great either way. Have you come across any other solutions that were offered?

    However, if Bike-Sharing is indeed the answer to the last mile issue in Chicago, I believe there is an equity issue as it solves the problem for only a certain segment of the society. Do you have thoughts on how such a system could be better tailored to suit the aging population and for increased accessibility?

    I've been studying pedi-cabs in India and it would be great if we could have some of those here to supplement the bike-share system.


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