How to Use Divvy Bikes in Chicago

Three Methods:Planning Your TripUsing a 24-Hour PassUsing an Annual Membership

Using Chicago's bicycle sharing system can be a convenient way to get around. A pass will work for 24 hours, but you must check the bike in every thirty minutes, so Divvy is best for shorter trips.

Method 1
Planning Your Trip

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    Find the closest Divvy station to your starting point and destination. You can look at the official station map (click on the blue bicycle icon to see how many bikes and open docks there are for that station) or use the Divvy "CycleFinder" app.
    • One way to map out your bike route is to enter your starting and ending addresses on Google Maps and use the "bicycle" option. This will also give you a time estimate.
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    Find intermediate points where you can "check in" if you think your ride will take longer than 30 minutes. If you use a Divvy bike for more than 30 minutes, you'll get charged extra. To break up the trip, you'll want to return your bike before the 30 minutes expire. Dock it, request a new code at the console (you'll swipe the same card that you used to pay for the pass) then use the new code to take out a bike (it can be the same bike as before or a different one, it doesn't matter).
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    Have a backup plan in case the station you want to return the bike to is full (no available spots) or not working. The app tells you how many bikes are at each station so you can better plan for this. Stations are more likely to be busy or break on busy days, like sunny weekends.
    • If the station is full, go to the kiosk re-swipe your credit or debit card (24-Hour Pass holders), and select “Station Full?” to add 15 minutes to your trip.
    • If docking doesn't work and you're running out of time, call Customer Service at 1-855-55-DIVVY (553-4889).

Method 2
Using a 24-Hour Pass

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    Follow the instructions on the touch screen. You will need a debit or credit card. At the end of that process, you'll be given a 5-digit code which will show on the screen as well as print on a piece of paper. You have five minutes to use that code to pull out a bike. If you take longer than 5 minutes, you'll need to get a new code (but you won't need to pay).
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    Find a bike you want to use. Check the tires and adjust the seat.
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    Type the code into the keypad at the individual bike station. Pull the bike out when the green light comes on. Give it a good, firm pull.
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    Start riding! All the bikes have three gears on the right and a bell on the left. Test the brakes.
    • Every bike comes with a front rack as well as front and rear LED lights that flash automatically. Note that the front lights are not bright enough to light your way, they are only there to make sure other vehicles can see you. If you're riding in a poorly lit area, wear a headlamp.
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    Return the bike by firmly inserting it into an individual station. You will see a green light come on when the bike is locked in place. Be sure to push the wheel all the way forward and hold it in place until you see the green light. Many people find they need to use more force than they thought they would to make sure the bike locks into place.
    • Sometimes in the winter, the stations freeze, making it hard or impossible to dock the bike.

Method 3
Using an Annual Membership

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    After receiving your member key, activate it online.
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    Skip the console. Members can use their unique key to unlock a bike instead of punching in a code.
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    Keep in mind that the same 30 minute limit applies.


  • If you want to take longer trips, it's worth looking into many available bike rental options in Chicago.
  • If the bike is broken in any way, lock it and notify Divvy by pushing the white wrench button on the top of the dock.
  • If your Divvy bike is lost or stolen, immediately call 1-855-55-DIVVY (553-4889) to fill out a Divvy Theft Report form. Call or visit the police precinct in which the theft occurred within 24 hours to file a theft report.
  • If you get into an accident while on the Divvy bike, call 911 immediately, file a police report, and notify Divvy within 24 hours by calling 1-855-55-DIVVY (553-4889). Divvy will provide you with a Divvy Crash Report to fill out.


  • You must have a credit or debit card in order to use Divvy.
  • People under 16 years old are not allowed to use Divvy bikes.
  • These bikes are heavier than most bikes, which is something worth keeping in mind if you need to carry it up or down stairs.

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Categories: Public Transport