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New program offers City Colleges of Chicago students free Divvy bike rides

Students at any City Colleges of Chicago location can get a free one-year membership in the city’s “Divvy for Everyone” program.

A Divvy bike station at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue.
A Divvy bike station, like this one at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue, has been added at Olive-Harvey College. City Colleges students also now have access to a free “Divvy for Everyone” annual membership.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Students at any City Colleges of Chicago location will soon have a new, free way to get around: Divvy bikes.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Department of Transportation announced all City Colleges students can receive a free “Divvy for Everyone” annual membership.

Divvy for Everyone is the $5-a-year alternative to the standard $9-a-month Divvy membership. Divvy for Everyone memberships usually are restricted based on income or whether someone is on some form of public assistance.

Divvy for Everyone membership provides students a year of unlimited 45-minute rides on any Divvy bike, and 5 cents a minute after that. It also waives unlocking and parking fees.

Users without either membership pay $3.30 to unlock a bike, then get only a 30-minute ride and pay 20 cents per minute after that. They’d also typically owe a $2 fee for leaving their bikes undocked instead of checking them back in at a Divvy station; that fee applies except in the general area southwest of Pershing Road and Western Avenue.

Wednesday’s announcement came with the unveiling of a new 13-bike Divvy docking station at Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn Ave. Both are part of Divvy’s citywide expansion and system upgrade that launched in 2020.

“This new station will connect our students and community to the entire bike network,” Kimberly Hollingsworth, president of Olive-Harvey College, was quoted as saying in a news release. “This also gives our students more transportation options, connects them to transit more easily, and is part of healthy life style.”

The expansion is funded by $50 million from Lyft, which operates Divvy and plans to expand the service to all 50 wards by year’s end.

Last year was a record-breaking year for Divvy, with more than 5.5 million rides logged — up more than 60% over 2020.

Students who wish to activate their free Divvy membership can do so through their student portal.

Cheyanne M. Daniels is a staff reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times via Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster the paper’s coverage of communities on the South and West sides.