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Bike sharing: coming to a campus near you!

March 2014 | by sustainNU
Divvy bike sharing programChicago’s bike sharing initiative, Divvy, was launched Summer 2013 and has quickly become a popular alternative transportation option with over 750,000 trips taken last year. Divvy has more than 3,000 bikes at 300 stations across downtown Chicago. The closest stations to NU’s Chicago’s campus are located at Lake Shore Dr. and Ohio St. and Saint Clair St. and Erie St. Cyclists can rent the bikes for a half hour or for a full day, and return them to any other Divvy station in the city. The system is great for quick trips to the store or for a full day of sightseeing.

The City of Evanston has been looking to provide improved alternative transportation options and bike sharing emerged as a top priority. Based on the popularity and success of the program in Chicago and the opportunity to share bicycles with Chicago locations, Evanston chose to pilot 8-10 Divvy bike stations. This will include locations near public transit and shopping areas that will be ideal for NU’s students and commuters.

At Northwestern, Student Affairs, the Office of Sustainability, and the Associate Student Government Sustainability Committee are assessing a couple bike sharing opportunities, such as participating in Divvy, creating our own bike sharing program, or developing a hybrid model. “Bike sharing has been successful in reducing car traffic, congestion, and pollution in cities, communities, and campuses all over the world. It just makes sense that NU and Evanston should partner on this initiative,” stated Director of Sustainability, Rob Whittier.