Other Divvy stations, including at Clark and Randolph streets and at Millennium Park, have also been expanded, officials said.
Divvy, a $22.5 million program paid for through federal and local funds, is less than 50 percent implemented. A total of 400 stations will open in phases through next spring.
The numbers indicate the service seems to be building a steady following, in some cases even among hard-core disbelievers who originally criticized Divvy as being an expensive government boondoggle that would generate little public support beyond tourists. That initial assertion was reinforced when the Emanuel administration delayed last year's planned introduction of Divvy.
Bill Choslovsky, a Chicago lawyer who rides his bike on weekends, was one of the skeptics, certain that the program would fail.
"The first Tribune article I read was about the $22 million cost for 4,000 bikes," Choslovsky, 44, said Friday. "I asked myself: 'Are these magic bikes? What's the deal?'"
Then last Tuesday, during the evening rush period, he needed to go from his law office on LaSalle Street to his parents' apartment near Water Tower to celebrate his brother's birthday.
"I was late. I could have jumped in a taxi and that would be a slow crawl. It was about 2 miles — too far for a walk if I'm in a hurry. The 'L' was four blocks away and I didn't feel like sweating with strangers in a cramped car,'' Choslovsky said.
A Divvy docking station is right outside his office. So he figured: Why not give it a try?
He had a great — and fun — experience, calling it "genuine and organic." By Friday, Choslovsky was aboard a Divvy bicycle for the third time, and he is considering becoming an annual member.
"On some days riding the Divvy will take me 11 minutes and a taxi would take me eight minutes, but the Divvy bike has an almost cool, timeless sort of feel,'' he said. "Without being cheesy, it takes you back in time a little bit.''
Since the inception of the program, the top Divvy docking stations where the most bikes have been rented and returned are near the lakefront and at major tourist attractions. That's not surprising, in light of the service's introduction coinciding with the summer vacation season and the abundance of festivals and other events in the downtown area.
The top five Divvy stations are: Lake Shore Drive and Monroe Street; Millennium Park; Michigan Avenue and Oak Street; McClurg Court and Illinois Street; and the Museum Campus, according to CDOT data.
About 160 of 400 Divvy bike-docking stations planned are operating, mostly downtown and in River North, but more and more in high-density neighborhoods close to rail stations, as four to eight new stations are being opened daily, CDOT said. A total of 300 solar-powered Divvy stations will be open by the end of August, officials said, and the final 100 stations will be online by next spring.
About 1,500 of 4,000 planned bicycles are in service, according to Alta Bicycle Share, which manages the program for City Hall.
The downtown-area stations have been up and running the longest.
In a neighborhood snapshot that CDOT took within the past week, the Divvy station at Lincoln and Armitage avenues was used 119 times a day, officials said. The neighborhood Divvy station at Sheffield and Fullerton avenues was used 92 times a day; and at Damen and Pierce avenues, 81 times a day.
Choslovsky, the former Divvy skeptic, said the growth of bike-sharing in the neighborhoods will be the "real test.''
"Is it used in the real neighborhoods or is it a cute downtown urban touristy thing?" he asked.
"I said to people at my brother's birthday party, 'I Divvy. Do you Divvy?' Somebody laughed, they said, 'You are using that as a verb,''' Choslovsky said.
"That's where even I said to myself, 'I was wrong, these bikes may have a future.' When you use a noun as a verb, you know the product has arrived.''
Contact Getting Around at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o the Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611; on Twitter @jhilkevitch; and at facebook.com/jhilkevitch. Read recent columns at chicagotribune.com/gettingaround.