DIVVY BIKE – The DIY way to get around Chicago

Divvy Bike

Divvy bike – it’s my favorite DIY way to get around Chicago. If you’re sightseeing in Chicago, you can easily travel from Lincoln Park Zoo all the way to Museum Campus on a Divvy bike. Almost your entire ride is along lakeshore drive, with the cool blue lake on one side and the sparkling skyline on the other. As you pedal through the warm summer breeze, whizzing past a sea of red brake lights, you’ll feel a grin form as you pass by all the people sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. Divvy bike – it’s the best way to travel. It feels so much better to travel by Divvy. You feel healthier, it’s better for the environment, you don’t have to sit in traffic and you don’t have to pay uber prices to get from one place to another.

Divvy is a bike sharing program with thousands of bikes located at stations all around the city. It works like this….you buy a pass, check out a bike at any one of the hundreds of Divvy stations, ride it wherever you want to and then return it to any Divvy station that is closest to you.

If you’re visiting Chicago, I bet the whole trip here you kept saying to yourself, “I feel like I forgot something”. You reach your hotel and while unpacking your suitcase, you slap yourself on the forehead when you realize you forgot to pack your bike. No problem, Divvy to the rescue!


You can purchase a single ride, a day pass or an annual pass. As of this writing, the plan options/pricing is as follows (but check the Divvy website for the most up to date pricing).

  • Single Ride – $1 + $0.17/minute
  • Day Pass – $16.50/day – Unlimited 3-hour rides for 24-hours
  • Annual Pass – $130.90/year – Unlimited 45 minute rides

Download the Divvy Bike App

You don’t need the app to use a Divvy bike, but your life will be a lot easier if you have it. The 2 primary reasons to download the app are:

  1. The app allows you to check how many bikes or open docks (to return a bike) are available at each station.
  2. The app allows you to purchase your pass then check out your bike simply by scanning the QR code on the bike.

If you don’t have the app, you can use the “Nearby Stations” option on the Divvy kiosk touchscreen to check the real-time availability of bikes at nearby stations but if there is a line at the kiosk you will end up waiting for this info. With the app you have this information at your fingertips. Alternatively if you are nearing your destination and need to check in your bike, the app will show you how many open docks are available to check in your bike rather than riding from one dock to another looking for an open slot.

While a Divvy pass can be purchased at any Divvy kiosk, the process can be lengthy. There are quite a few questions to answer and just around the time you think it’s about to ask you for your first-born child, you finally finish. I would say all in all, for a newbie, the process takes about 3 minutes. Generally this is not a big deal. It does however become a big deal when, either you are planning to bike with a large group or there is a long line at the kiosk. If there are 5 people in line ahead of you, and they each take 3 minutes to purchase their pass, you’re waiting in line for 15 minutes. With the Divvy app, you can purchase a pass right from your phone, no waiting in line.

Additionally, when you have a Day Pass and don’t have the app, each time you check in your bike you have to go to the kiosk to request a new ride code to check another bike out. This only takes 1-2 minutes (if there is no line), but still it would be much faster through the app because all you have to do is scan the QR code on the bike.

Downloading the app is like purchasing a front-of-the-line pass at an amusement park. Let’s say there are 4 bikes at a particular station and you see 4 people in line at the kiosk. Clearly once they have purchased their passes there will not be a bike left for you. If you have the Divvy app, you can purchase a single pass then scan the QR code on the bike and be off, before the people in line get through the process. Or if you already purchased the Day Pass through the app just go up and scan the QR code to release a bike, beating out the people in line, allowing you to get one of those remaining 4 bikes.

Now that you’ve got your Divvy bike, check out these Chicago’s Green Spaces.

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Author: Nicole Bolin

Visit the official Divvy website for more information.