I rode Divvy today from near UIC to the Loop.
I didn't look closely and when I got to my destination, the rack was full. So I had to circle, looking for an open rack, based on where I remembered there was other docks.
So what's that called?
"Umdivvy" (that's kind of German)
"My four star was full starred"
It was a beautiful day, I didn't mind taking a few extra minutes to find an open space. But I wanted a word for "rack is full, look elsewhere" bc it's happened to me a few times.
One could always park it undocked, but then it wouldn't register as being returned. If someone walks away with the bike, you'd be on the hook for the replacement price.
The bikes in Vancouver have a cable attached to the bike to secure a bike helmet, which is required by law when riding. Surely there's a cable based locking system that could be used that would require a fob to lock/unlock. Gotta give it some thought.
The upcoming Divvy expansion will include dockless e-bikes that have exactly what you are describing. They refer to it as a "hybrid locking" and say the bikes can be docked at stations, or locked to bike racks with a built-in locking system.
This is a daily occurrence at the Belmont L stop after the bikes are "re-balanced". I've asked the Divvy employee to at least leave a dock or two open because the next closest stations are several blocks away in all directions. Not convenient at all. But I often forget common sense has become a superpower in today's world.
I started using DIVVY while recovering from my crash in 2017. Once I could pedal, it was just a whole lot easier on my healing leg to turn a crank than to walk or use crutches. One day, I get to Evanston Davis Street Metra, hobble over to the DIVVY dock (I was still crutch-bound), then pedal over to the rarely used dock at Valli Produce (closest to my house). It was full. The next closest appeared to be Church and Dodge, so I went there and docked the bike. That was as far away from my house as the Metra station, so I wound up calling my wife to pick me up. There was no way I was going to walk that far with crutches at that early stage of my recovery.
This happens to me every so often(moreso late at night, as it tends to be the only time this station can occasionally get full), with the station at Clark/Bryn Mawr. If that occurs, then usually I go to the one at Bryn Mawr/Ridge/Broadway, or another one like Clark/Berwyn or Broadway/Berwyn. I sometimes have also used the Divvy station at Balmoral/Wolcott, and then walked back home. Oh yeah for the last one, Divvy should move that dock back to it's original location just east of that intersection, on the side of what used to be Edward Hines Lumber(which isn't there anymore, but I've always called this building that name as they were there as long as I can remember).
Like others said, this issue is worse when there aren't many other stations nearby(i.e. the one just south of Green Bay and Central in Evanston). The surprising thing is according to the app, I didn't realize there now was a Divvy station at Lincolnwood Drive and Central, a little west of there.