Yikes! This is a bite. Divvy announced today they're increasing their annual membership to $99, formerly $75. That's a 33% increase. They will bill you $10/month (ok, $9.95) rather than pay the hundred upfront. That works out to be $120/yr or a 60% increase.
I love Divvy and I've been a supporter since they started. But geez, who's in charge of the finances over there?
I am going to have give Divvy a second thought when it's time to renew my membership. I fear they may be pricing themselves out of their market.
** mp **
On one hand, I'd agree that this blows, especially for yearly subscribers, like myself. On the other, I think a $9.95/month membership works out well for most people. It is cheaper than $7/day.
After being in operation for a couple of years, I think a price increase would be in order - given that they have mostly fulfilled their planned deployment.
Their next plan of operation should be to sell FOBs at selected brick and mortar stores. So people can subscribe on demand.
The monthly plan still requires a year long commitment. A tourist cant simply buy a one month plan, nor can someone only join for the nice weather. You'd be stuck paying $9.95 a month in January whether you take a ride or not.
I'm glad that they're offering a monthly payment option for annual membership, which I think will make Divvy affordable to a LOT more people.
We've seen major growing pains in the last year. They haven't been able to maintain anywhere near the same quality of service they did previously. I would much rather pay $99 per year if it means that they're able to maintain equipment better (eliminate the problem of broken lighting and hubs, which has been a BIG issue this year) and do a more effective job of rebalancing so that bikes and docks are available where/when we need them.
I certainly haven't gotten my money's worth this year. Lack of availability and broken equipment have been the reasons why. Having few or no bikes available in the Loop after 5 pm has eliminated many of the potential Divvy trips I would have made. Lack of open docks where I needed them has eliminated a comparable number.
If this increase allows Divvy to return to higher quality, more reliable service, it's well worth it.
I am glad they are offering a monthly payment option for those who prefer that. I wish they would increase the trip time from 30 minutes to 45 minutes to go with the price increase.
Great point. Let's hope they answer the feedback and increase the trip time to 45 minutes.
Is this how they're affording that living wage the employees wanted a while back?
Admittedly, that's a large increase percentage-wise. In absolute terms, though, it's not so bad. If I were a Divvy user, I wouldn't complain about getting a yearly membership for the cost of ten daily passes. Divvy is and should be subsidized, since it's a form of public transportation. But Divvy also has to raise some significant percentage of its operating costs itself, or it won't be around for long. If Divvy can hold the line for a couple years at the new rate, they'll be doing OK.
I'm sorry, but an increase of $3.75/month, if you choose the monthly billing, to use Divvy and have them remain a viable transportation alternative is still a great deal. $3.75 is roughly the cost of Starbucks (although I don't personally go to Starbucks for coffee) Grande Caffe Latte. It's $3.25 for the Flag Pull rate on a cab. A beer in a tavern will cost you more than $3.75 (okay, if you drink PBR maybe you can beat $3.75). Two rides on the EL total $4.50. Annual maintenance and parts on your own bike is going to probably cost more than $100, plus storage, and locking it up so it won't get stolen (good luck). How much do you spend per month on other things? How much money do you earn in one hour of working?
Le'ts be serious, people, unless you choose walking, Divvy at $120/year is still incredibly heard to beat.
I only use Divvy occasionally. On a per-ride basis, it's probably more expensive for me than CTA. But it's often more pleasant and convenient than CTA, so I consider having the option to grab one whenever I want worth the price of the annual subscription.
Actually the $24 increase is only 32% overall...and since the rate has been TWO YEARS at $75, that increase is only 16% per year. Certainly more than the current rate of inflation.
But a deserved increase, considering that the Canadian company that makes those sturdy Divvy bikes went bankrupt, and Divvy nevertheless expanded north of Touhy, south of 85th St...to almost 90-sq miles of Chicago, with plans to include Evanston and Oak Park next year.
I'm happy to pay another $2/mo to support this important addition to Chicago's bicycling community.
I think this is a reasonable increase considering the capital it must have taken to expand their network. It would be nice to get 45 minutes instead of 30. It would also be nice to have some cargo bikes in the network for running errands, even if they're 'unicorns'.
Also, I must have seen 15 Divvy's on the Lakefront Trail late this afternoon - much more than on a typical 30 degree day.