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Chicago Bike Sharing Program Offers Opportunities- And Problems

Chicago Bike Sharing ProgramHave you ever shared a bike?

If your city doesn’t have a bike sharing system yet, chances are you have never lent your bike to a stranger nor used someone else’s bike to get to work. Chicago bike sharing has become a very popular mode of transport in many metropolitan cities of the world where commuting on main roads is impossible during rush hours.

Depending on your idea of favorable transport, the kind of commute you are used to and your preference to ride a bike instead of other vehicles, bike sharing can easily be a convenient mode of transport for you. Public bikes offer a quick and easy way to cover short distances by paying a small amount for every 30 minutes of the ride.

Chicago Bike Sharing- a critical look

Chicago’s Bike Sharing Plan with Divvy Bikes has kick started with hundreds of memberships by people who love the idea of riding a bike without going through the hassle of owning it. The mechanics of this plan are simple. Riding the Divvy Bikes around Chicago can be done in two ways; you apply for membership, which is a lump-sum cost of $75, or you ride it on an ad hoc basis.

There are advantages and disadvantages of both. While with the membership plan you have to pay a considerable amount in membership fees, the overtime charged to members is considerably lower than that applicable to non-members. For more information visit http://share.chicagobikes.org/.

The Pros

Advantages of Bike sharing Programs, as the one introduced in Chicago, are many. For some it comes as a blessing in disguise, solving their transport issues and giving them a way to enhance morning exercise routine! The following are the top advantages:

  • It absolves you of the worry of parking.
  • No money goes out of your pocket towards maintenance, as long as you use it well and return it safely!
  • With the Chicago metropolitan area bustling with vehicle traffic, bike sharing can ensure you get to work on time!
  • An automated docking system that takes less than a minute.

The Cons

Despite the various advantages provided by the Chicago Bike Sharing Plan, it has been viewed very critically because of a number of aspects of the membership contract.

Following is the list of problems encountered by people:

  • There are limited places in docking areas so the system is not superior to the public transit system already in place.
  • Moreover, the overtime fees for the Chicago bike sharing plan is outrageous, to say the least! This fee increases to $1.50 for 31 minutes and $4.50 for overtime up to 90 minutes.
  • A lost or missing Divvy Bike can charge you go a total of $1200 depending on the amount of overtime you consume.
  • The responsibility of loss or theft falls on your shoulders with Chicago’s bike sharing system.
  • Bike rides are not ideal for businesspersons because it can ruin the look and feel of their clothes.

Conclusion

If Chicago expands its bike sharing system for leisure purposes as well, this plan may be perceived as positive by its many critics. With the high costs of membership, overtime and the responsibility to be liable for damages and loss all falling on the biker’s shoulders, bike sharing is receiving its fair share of criticism from observers. However, no doubt it is an attractive option.

  • http://share.chicagobikes.org/
  • http://www.activetrans.org/bikesharing
  • http://chicago.bcycle.com/