The Divvy Story


Divvy promotes their bike sharing program as a low cost, healthy, and eco-friendly alternative for Chicago commuters. Just what benefits did Divvy actually bring to the individual and to the city of Chicago since its first launch in June, 2013?
Take a look at how Divvy is improving the lives of commuters, and in the process helping the city.

The Commuter

Benefits for The Individual
Meet Mike. We’ll take a look at Mike’s journey as he assesses the benefits of riding a Divvy bike for his commute. What’s in it for him?

The City

Accumulated Contribution
In addition to Mike’s point of view, we will also look at the bigger picture: What is the accumulated contribution Divvy has made to the Windy City?


Individual Cost Benefit

“By switching from CTA to Divvy I save up to $1000 per year on transit fees.”

Considering the commuting expense for Mike, compared to CTA rides, subscribing to Divvy bike’s annual membership could save him around $465 to $1,005 per year.*


Accumulated Cost Contribution

With currently over 14,000** annual subscribers joining Divvy, under the same scenario, the potential amount of savings to Chicagoans is between 6.5 million and 14 million dollars.


Individual Health Benefit

“Biking to work is great exercise. I burn 300 calories every ride. That’s 13,000 calories per month!”

13,000 calories = 44 Chicago dogs*

By riding Divvy to work, Mike can burn 325 calories every 30 minutes, which adds up to roughly 13,000 calories, or 3.7 lbs of weight loss per month.**


Accumulated Health Contribution

Approximately 77 million calories, or 22 thousand pound of fat, have been burned by bike riders*** since the introduction of Divvy.

Healthy citizens make a healthy city. Exercise, along with a proper diet, can reduce the number of overweight and obese individuals. Obese adults have an increased risk for many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.


Individual Environmental Benefit

“I pass a lot of cars on my way to work. They all add CO2 to the atmosphere, plus other pollutants. My commute is pollution free.”

Switching from driving to biking enables Mike to contribute to the city by reducing CO2 footprints. Every mile he rides offsets 0.6 lbs of carbon emission compared to driving a car.*


Accumulated Environmental Contribution

After operating for only half a year, 450 tons of CO2 emissions have been saved by Divvy riders. That’s the equivalent of 10,642 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.**

450 tons of CO2 = 10, 642 tree seedlings grown.

Last but not least

In addition to financial, health and environment, there are more things Divvy could benefit Mike and the Chicago city in terms of qualitative values. To attract more members to the bike sharing program, here’s what Divvy can look at in the future: The ability for Divvy to communicate neighborhood areas; Facilitate the increase of sightseeing with Divvy; Reach into different social and ethnographic groups in Chicago.


Riding a Divvy may be a lot of fun, but there are other, more serious, benefits to biking. Biking saves money, improves fitness, and helps the environment. As Mike’s example shows, we each gain for biking on our commutes. And so does the city of Chicago.






* Assumption: Total of 240 working days, each day with 2 rides of CTA transportation = $1080 spending per year, the low estimate of Divvy savings considers the winter absence of ridership (change to CTA). where as the high estimate look at the maximum usage of Divvy bike even during the winter.
** By March 5th, Divvy had grown to more than 14,000 members, see reference

* One serving of Chicago dogs is roughly 293 calories. See reference
** Calculation using this chart, assuming Mike weighs 180 lbs, and riding in a moderate speed (12-13.9 mph)
*** Calculated here

* You can calculate here by inputing distance and duration
** Calculated here

Szu-Ying Ching, Hsin-Cheng Lin, Darren Gene Peterson