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 **
For me, even though I bike to work daily, I like the idea of Divvy and I want to support them. The initial membership fee was reasonable enough so I joined. I find it convenient when I want to take a cross town jaunt but don't want to worry about locking up my bike at my destination. Or if I'm with a friend I can take my bike and let them use a Divvy bike. A female co-worker uses Divvy to bike home. She doesn't bike in because of the usual concerns over hair, makeup, etc. but she enjoys biking home.
Now that the fees have increased so much I'm not sure it still makes sense for me. Although if I use it just once a month it pays for itself so I'll likely renew anyway.
When I bike to work, I lock up a couple of blocks away from work - where my shower place is. So when I need to go anywhere during lunch, I really don't like unlocking my bike and carrying the u-locks (yes, I have two at all times) with me when I don't have my pannier bags or backpack handy.
You can save your bike from snow/dirt/mud. You can ride to a destination if you are going to have another way of getting home. You can ride home if you arrived via a different method. You can meet friends and not have to deal with your bike if the group moves to another location.
- if the weather is bad in the morning, but clears up later (or vice versa), you can bike for half your commute.
- when the winter slop gets too bad, you can spare your bike from the salt and grime.
- you can bike to meet non-riders, travel elsewhere with them, then bike home if you want.
- if you discover a flat that you don't have time to fix, its a good option.
- most bike shops seem to have a station near them, so if you take your bike in for service, you can ride back with Divvy.
My problem with this is that this actually hits the hardest at those with the least. If you can't afford the $100 up front, you have to pay significantly more on a per month basis. (That's an interest rate of about 40% when you actually do the numbers) Divvy has to have, at least in part, a social mission, and certainly part of a social mission is not screwing over the least well off members of your society. In other words, Divvy should not only not charge such an enhanced fee (yes... it really is 40% interest rate) for those who cannot afford it, it should find a way to provide a scaled down rate for those that can't afford it and expect those of us that can pay the full fee to pay a little extra.
Divvy did announce a very low rate for those making less than $35k. Only $5 annual fee. One catch is that it is for first time members only.
I have a feeling Divvy (Motivate) would say the processing cost of charging a credit card 12 times in a year costs more than one charge, hence a higher yearly price for a monthly payment option. Also, it would seem strange if they charged $8 for a month of use, but $10 for a day of use.
I do agree with you that this price structure appears regressive.