Divvy expansion to Evanston uncertain after supplier’s bankruptcy


Source: Divvy

The Chicago Department of Transportation announced plans in November 2013 to bring bike-sharing service Divvy to Evanston. The future of Divvy’s expansion to Evanston became uncertain after Divvy’s Montreal supplier filed for bankruptcy Monday.

Ciara McCarthy, City Editor

The future for 75 new stations in a Chicago bike-sharing program, which has plans to expand to Evanston, is uncertain after the program’s supplier filed for bankruptcy Monday.

The Montreal-based Public Bike System Company filed for bankruptcy Monday, the city’s mayor announced. PBSC is the equipment supplier for Divvy, Chicago’s bike sharing program. PBSC will continue to operate normally for the time being, said PBSC spokesman Sabrice Giguere.

“For now, it’s business as usual,” he said.

Divvy launched in Chicago in June and has 300 stations throughout the city with over 3,000 bikes in the system, according to PBSC’s website.

Evanston aldermen gave their permission to City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz in September to apply for a state grant to attract Divvy to expand to the suburbs. In November, the Chicago Department of Transportation, which owns Divvy, announced plans to apply for $3 million in state grants to add 75 new stations, with some in Evanston and Oak Park, Ill.

(Chicago eyes Evanston for Divvy expansion)

Bobkiewicz expected to hear about the status of Divvy’s expansion to Evanston this month. He said Tuesday he had not heard any updates in light of PBSC’s bankruptcy. Catherine Hurley, Evanston’s Sustainable Programs Coordinator, said in an email she plans to reach out to contacts at the City of Chicago for any new information on Divvy’s expansion.

Giguere said PBSC will sit down with representatives from the city of Montreal in the coming days to determine the company’s future projects.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” he said.

Alta Bicycle Share, which operates Divvy, said Monday its programs will continue to function.

“Our systems across the country — in New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, the Bay Area, Columbus, Ohio, and Chattanooga, TN — are up and running and ABS will ensure that they continue to operate without interruption,” the company wrote in a statement.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @mccarthy_ciara