Winter many be on its way to the Windy City but like most stalwart Chicagoans, Divvy Bikes aren't going anywhere.
This marks the first winter for Chicago's new public bike-sharing program that debuted this spring, and Divvy officials announced Tuesday the program will continue through the colder months as usual, albeit with a reduced fleet to save on the wear and tear of the bicycles.
(Learn How To Bike The Winter in Chicago.)
While the official announcement came Tuesday, CBS Chicago was first to confirm Divvy's winter-inclusive 24-7, 365 plans last week.
Elliott Greenberger, Divvy's deputy general manager, told the station since the system sees ridership data in real-time, they can react to changing needs and conditions and says the service will stay on top of any mechanical issues due to road salt.
In fact, only “very extreme” weather conditions will effectively shut down the service (presumably the same conditions that ground planes and keep drivers off the roads). In the event of "extreme" conditions, the Sun-Times reports Divvy may temporarily shut down the service so that users can only return bikes from a trip but not rent them out.
Divvy didn't elaborate on the specific factors that would make for an "extreme" weather situation, though per its user agreement, snow, hail, ice, or electrical storms -- "which could make it more dangerous to operate a Divvy bicycle" -- are probably good clues until Divvy cements a better definition of service-threatening weather.
To spread the word about any service shutdowns, city officials say Divvy will send out news releases, social media updates and alerts to the CycleFinder smartphone apps.
As for the stations themselves, Divvy employees will hit the streets daily with brooms, shovels and salt in hand to clear the path around the stations and make the bikes accessible and ice-free, the Tribune reports.
According to Time Out Chicago, Divvy membership has risen to 11,000 members since June and members have taken the bikes for a spin on some 600,000 trips.