Tabula Rasa Sunday

Better late on this gorgeous Sunday than… fill-in-the-blank.

I’ve said my peace on the last two Sunday posts.

Your turn.

Got anything?

Care to check in from your remote location during these summer days?

If you’re teaching this summer, how’s that goin’?

Got anything planned for the 4th?

Numb from the minor league play of our two baseball teams?
(Cubs were going to underachieve this year-that was a given. What’s the Sox excuse???)

Sorry.

Like I said, your turn.

5 thoughts on “Tabula Rasa Sunday

  1. Among other things, I’ve been trying out Chicago’s new bike sharing program, Divvy. Great program so far, in my experience. There’s a station right outside the giant Walgreens on Randolph and State, so I’m looking forward to a new way of commuting to work and around downtown once the semester begins.

    • Hi Kamran.
      Didn’t know we had one that close. I’ll have to check it out. I’ve heard the pros (more commuting options) and cons ($$$) so I wouldn’t mind your ‘spoken’ feedback in the future.

      • Honestly, I see the cost as a significant advantage, depending on how you use it. I’m happy to evangelize Divvy a bit because I think a more saturated bike culture in Chicago would have tremendous benefits for our city (less traffic, more aware traffic, healthier, cleaner, and economical).

        The short answer is that the year-long membership would save the typical commuter a huge sum of commuting and taxi fees if the bike is used frequently, and your home, places of business, and recreational hotspots are close to Divvy kiosks.

        So here’s a few things:
        1. The cost described on the kiosks apply ONLY to one day purchases, which are significantly more expensive than the year-round cost. The minimum cost to use a bike is $7, which gives you unlimited 30 minute rides for 24 hours. If your trip is longer than 30 minutes, you can simply park at a Divvy station, insert the bike, and draw it out again. There will be no additional cost. OR, you can continue your ride, and be charged an escalating fee for each 30 minutes.

        The 1-day rental can get expensive if you’re using it frequently throughout the year, or are careless about checking the bike in every 30 minutes. It’s really best for (1) when you know you’ll spend a lot of time moving about downtown, or other Divvy kiosk saturated areas, (2) tourists.

        2. A year-long membership, on the other hand, costs $75 per year. That’s unlimited 30-minute trips for the whole year. Like above, you can check in the bike every 30 minutes to avoid extra fees, or keep the bike longer and pay a few extra bucks.

        3. A unlimited CTA 30-day pass costs $100 now. If you live in a Divvy-inhabited neighborhood and commute to a Divvy inhabited neighborhood (ie, the Loop), the savings are clear. A CTA card is always important in this city, of course, but one would rarely need to use it.

        4. 5 days after launch, this is truly only convenient if you live in neighborhoods close to the loop. That is planned to expand rapidly throughout the next two months. All stations on this map should be open by the end of the summer, and an additional 100 will be open next summer: http://divvybikes.com/stations

        Honestly, this is a great opportunity for the city. And given HWC’s location, it makes a lot of sense to use it once your home is within the Divvy-zone.

  2. Thanks for the details, Kamran.
    I’ll throw in the fact that it’s good for your health too!
    After going to the website and seeing the map, my only concern is that the south (south of 63rd) and southwest (west of Halsted) neighborhoods will be under served. Hope that changes.

  3. Yeah, I hope that changes as well. On the one hand, it makes complete sense that a program of this magnitude cannot overextend itself early on. It is expensive, they need a solid membership base, and understanding how bicycles need to be distributed is a logistical nightmare. Overextending early means dooming the program before it has a chance to take off.

    On the other hand, this is just another example of the city’s public transportation options being inaccessible to the lower income (and frequently black or Latino) communities.

    All I can hope is that the system is well supported and well-received by the population in its first couple years, so that in the future this kind of program can extend throughout the entire city.

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