The Chainlink

Your Divvy overage fees: Has it been worth the $ spent, why or why not?

Hi, Chainlinkers!

I am a semi-frequent Divvy user and DNAinfo reporter doing a story on Divvy overage fees and whether you think paying the fees has been worth it, and if so, how do you justify it to yourself? 

An example, from one Divvy user who responded to the question: "I think, for example, if I'm biking from the Loop to Lincoln Square, I know I'm going to get charged, but I figure the $1.50 charge is less than a CTA ride so it's still a "deal.")

If you would like to be included in this story, on record (your first and last name), please respond via a comment to this thread with 1) The number of trips you've taken since Divvy launched or whenever you joined it (you can find that in your online Divvy account) as well as 2) How much you have paid since joining in "overage" fees, also accessible under the "payments" tab in your online Divvy account.

Lastly, 3) Your thoughts on these fees-  worth it or not? why or why not?

My deadline is ASAP, as I already have hard data from Divvy corporate on percentage of trips that went over, etc., but would love to hear thoughts from more Divvy members on overage fees.

Below is my experience with the fees:

A DNAinfo reporter who joined Divvy in July 2013 went on 758 trips since then, and 82 — or 10.8 percent of her trips — went over the allotted 30-minutes.

She paid $154.50 in overage fees since joining Divvy, as well as $324 in yearly membership fees ($75 in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and $99 in 2016, after the annual membership fee was raised).

With a total amount of $478.50 spent for 758 trips, the average cost of each of her trips was 60-cents.

My comment is that spending $478.50 over almost 4 years, it still seems worth it to me, especially since I was able to expense some of those overage fees due to being work-related, such as reporting on a breaking story with no dock convenient, and it's still much cheaper than taking bus, L, or an Uber.

Please share your Divvy overage fee and trips taken, as well as comments, below. I will credit/link to Chainlink website if there are any responses to this post. Many thanks in advance.

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For me, this has become a barrier to using Divvy bikes for trips around the city. Chicago is too big to limit rides to 30 minutes. I would prefer 45 minutes. 

The thought of doing the Divvy shuffle as well as the challenge that comes with Divvy stations with no room to check a bike sounds like it will make a normal ride more complicated with unnecessary hoops to jump through. A good friend and fellow cyclist (as well as Chainlink member), Sarah Dandelles mentioned the full station issue is the reason she opted for a Brompton (folding bike) vs. riding Divvy bikes.

Maybe this is why I've seen so many people cruising at an impressively fast clip on their Divvy? They need to rush to their destination to avoid the fees. :-)

Thank you, Yasmeen!

Over 758 trips, i can count on two hands how many times the docks were full, maybe 10.

The worst example was going to a Bulls game at 7 p.m. at United Center, all docks there full and no valet there, and customer service said the valets stopped their shift at 7 p.m. that night. My friend who was waiting for me had to walk w/ me and bike at least 5 or 6 blocks west to nearest Dock and by the time we got back, the game had started.

Really looking for Divvy overage fee statistics on this story, as the why people do not use Divvy or avoid it due to time constraints is a separate story.

I think you are allowed to push a button that says "station full" to extend your reservation? Still a hassle (especially if the nearest station is a half-mile or more away), and I forgot about it the last time I had a station-full problem, so I got charged. Lol.

yes, you can press button or call customer service to get an extension.

I have 580+ trips since I moved to Chicago a year and a half ago with my wife. It seems like I've paid $11.50 in overage fees since then. I have absolutely no problem with the fees or the timing. However, I use Divvy in a very limited fashion. I use Divvy for a 1.5 mile commute to and from work and to go out around the neighborhood with my wife. Divvy has been hands down the most successful way of getting my wife to bike. I've been dating her since we where teens and bike dates always ended up in frustration. Finally Divvy got her biking more, so I am forever grateful. 

My biggest frustration is when all docks are full outside my workplace in the loop. There's always a valet serviced station a few blocks away but its still a hassle. I let it slide because the app is pretty accurate at letting me know if I will likely have issues docking at my destination.

Regardless, I would never use Divvy for longer rides. I once headed to Wrigley and back for a Cubs game with the wife and it was seamless, but not the most comfortable experience. I generally resort to my own bike for anything other than quick convenient trips as shown in my most recent vid below :) 

Watch carefully at 0:13

thank you, Marcelo!!  Are you riding a Divvy in the YouTuve video? I think you are but just double checking. Also, if you have a photo of you and your wife on Divvy, can you post it here or email to me at

AH, i see you are NOT on a Divvy? you docked your mountain bike at a Divvy station?

Yeah, that joke hasn't gone over well. I really thought it be an obvious message of "I'm not taking the Divvy out today, instead..." but my bike is a very similar shade of blue I guess. I did not dock it though, I just leaned it in there and pressed one of the numbers for the sound effect.

And I take pictures every time the wife joins me for a Divvy ride haha. Here's one, I'll send a few more through email.


awesome pics!  thank you, Marcelo

I've always thought as a perk for annual Divvy members(which I'm one of), that they should increase the period you're allowed to bike with a Divvy till you dock at a station from 30 to 45 minutes. As I recall reading online, Citibike in NYC allows 45 minutes. So I don't see why Divvy shouldn't also allow for 45 minutes.

A few times a year, yes I have gone over the 30 minute period for biking, but never past 60 minutes. I don't mind if that infrequently occurs, since I find biking to be more enjoyable vs. taking the bus or 'L. It's annoying when going over the 30 minutes, was a result of not finding an open dock at a certain Divvy station.

My annoyances with Divvy(especially the full dock/station issue, and that they haven't extended the riding period to 45 minutes for at least annual members), are why I'm really considered getting a new bike.


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