Unlike many students who try to get away from ICO after completion of the first year, I decided to stay in Chicago and live in the RC. I found a job near Navy Pier at Monroe Harbor. Awesome! How do I get to work? No clue.
I did research on how to get from ICO to Monroe Harbor in a timely manner on a modest budget. I looked up CTA pricing and found that the 30 day pass was $100. By the end of summer, that would’ve added up to be $300. NOPE. I went to UPS to ask about shipping my bike from California to Chicago; that total was near $400. NOPE. I felt stuck! I asked my employer what the best option was since she has been in Chicago a little bit longer than me. I explained, she listened, and asked me, “Have you ever tried a Divvy bike?”
I had seen those Divvy bikes all throughout the city and thought they were utterly ridiculous. They look as dorky as can be, and the people I see riding them don’t look like they know what they are doing. Despite that, I figured it would be worth my time to investigate.
That evening, I looked up Divvy online. I found that a 24-hour pass is $9.95 and the annual pass is $99/year. This fit my modest budget and I could get to work in about a half hour. Score! The only catch is that you have a 30-minute time limit, or else there is an additional charge on your account.
I purchased the pass and started biking to work every day. It was an excellent decision! I got to bike along the Lake Shore path. Sometimes, I would ride downtown just for fun. My opinion of the Divvy bike system went a whole 180 degrees; I really like them now. I still think they look a bit silly, but from a functional and practical perspective, Divvy bikes cannot be beat. They are also built well and made to handle Chicago, i.e. those pot holes that seem to appear out of nowhere!
In short, Divvy bikes are functional, practical, easy on the wallet, and fun. Just be aware of your timing.
There are two Divvy stations near ICO: One on Calumet Ave/33rd (east of ICO) and the other on State St/33rd (in front of IIT). If a rider wants to continue north, I recommend stopping at Roosevelt, checking the bike in at the station on the corner of Roosevelt and Michigan or Roosevelt and State, then checking out another bike to keep going.
To check if bikes are available at any station or if there is a station nearby, download the Transit App (it is free). The app shows where the different stations are and how many bikes are available. The app also has CTA bus and train schedules.
If interested, check out Divvy’s website: www.divvybikes.com. Happy biking!