In late March, at a luncheon for the city’s political and enterprise elite, Chicago transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi introduced the town would be supplying away 5,000 bicycles.
“Free bikes. And a helmet. And a bike lock,” Biagi claimed in her Town Club speech.
For months since, the Chicago Department of Transportation has held again crucial facts of the plan, but on Monday it produced a timeline showing the bicycle giveaway will roll out little by little. The 5,000 bikes and equipment will be introduced around the subsequent 4 years and at least a person-tenth of them will go out in the very first year, metropolis officers claimed.
Individuals in a youth inexperienced task education system and CDOT mobility courses will get very first dibs, then other qualifying residents, according to the town.
Metropolis officers originally did not reply Tribune queries about how lots of bicycles the metropolis had bought, but immediately after the Tribune submitted a Liberty of Data Act ask for they mentioned the Division of Transportation has 680 bikes for the application. So much, the metropolis estimates the system has price tag $231,068.
The city acquired 350 bikes this spring via environmental firm WRD, according to invoices unveiled by the town. Yet another 330 bikes the city is placing toward the application had been in the beginning ordered for the Greencorps Youth Application, a green position training system for significant faculty college students whose contributors are now amongst individuals set to get bikes below the giveaway, the metropolis said.
CDOT explained it will step by step raise distribution of the bikes in the coming decades, till all 5,000 one-speed, commuter-model bikes have been presented. The metropolis did not have an estimate of the full value of the program, and spokeswoman Amanda Bolton reported officers hope this calendar year to seek aggressive bids to deliver bikes for the program’s later on a long time.
“CDOT is fully commited to building biking a a lot more well-liked and useful selection for all residents — and Bike Chicago will do just that,” Biagi said in a statement.
The plan arrives as the metropolis a short while ago launched a local weather motion program that referred to as for prioritizing going for walks, biking and transit use to reduce emissions.
“Every resident in our metropolis warrants equitable entry to harmless, trusted and economical clean transportation selections,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot claimed in a assertion. “Bike Chicago accelerates both of those the city’s climate and fairness objectives by giving new workforce pathways, bikes and supportive resources that promote secure biking and a healthful minimal-carbon transportation ecosystem for all Chicagoans.”
Among people set to receive bikes in the 1st year of the giveaway are individuals in CDOT mobility systems like Chicago Harmless Ambassadors and Open Boulevards activities, along with the Greencorps Youth Method, in which significant faculty college students find out how to assemble and manage bikes among the other skills. Bikes will then be distributed on a first-arrive, initial-served basis to qualifying candidates.
The town estimates about 250 bikes will be accessible to individuals who apply by using mail or on line.
Candidates for the program will have to be Chicago people at the very least 14 many years previous and have a domestic money at or below the spot median cash flow for the town. They should not now personal a bicycle, and either encounter a “higher mobility hardship” or participate in just one of the CDOT mobility plans.
Apps will open up July 18, and distribution is anticipated to start in August.
The Lightfoot administration is producing its moves as Lightfoot gears up for what is anticipated to be a challenging reelection fight in February 2023. So considerably, the mayor has declared gasoline card giveaways, reversed her earlier opposition to a standard cash flow method first floated by an alderman, and is also offering rebates to property owners and corporations so they can invest in stability cameras.
Even as the town prepares to give away free bikes, a collection of recent bicycle owner and pedestrian site visitors fatalities have led to renewed phone calls by advocates for citywide infrastructure that prioritizes pedestrian and bike owner basic safety, like a lot more bike lanes and much more protected lanes. The metropolis has about 400 miles of bikeways on and off metropolis streets, and has a short while ago undertaken work that will guard about 45 miles with concrete curbs.