Chicago, IL

Bike Chicago: Here's How To Get One Of 5,000 Free Bikes

Lashaunta Moore

The Chicago Department of Transportation will distribute 5,000 bicycles over four years.

A nice bike ride around downtown Chicago seems like the perfect experience, and the Chicago Department of Transportation is providing the leading equipment, a FREE bike.

Cycling safety in the city has been an ongoing issue, as hundreds of cyclists fall victim to hit-and-runs. In response, more safety measures and bike lanes have been added, and CDOT unveiled its vision to make cycling safe and affordable.

Recently, they revealed plans to facilitate more residents cycling through a bike distribution program. The Bike Chicago program aims to distribute 5,000 free bikes and safety and maintenance equipment to qualified residents over the next four years.

The process to receive a free bike for the first year will differ slightly from the upcoming years. Bikes will be distributed to participants in 2022 CDOT mobility programming (Green Corps, Learn to Ride, and Open Boulevard Events) and first come, first serve for residents that qualify.

A possible lottery for years 2-4 of the program may happen if demand increases. Below are answers to questions you might have.

How can I apply for a free bike?

Online and paper applications will be accepted from July 18- August 4.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Chicago Residents 14 and older (those under 18 will need a Guardian's signature on a liability waiver); AND
  • Have a household income at or below 100% of the Area Median Income for Chicago (see chart on the website); AND
  • Do not already own a bicycle; AND
  • Residents that face higher mobility hardship; OR
  • Participants in CDOT 2022 mobility programming (Green Corps, Learn to Ride, and Open Boulevard Events)

When will the bike distribution start?

In August 2022, (bikes will be distributed each Spring/Summer of the following four years until all 5,000 are gone.)

If I'm picked, how will I get my bike?

The city will notify you of the pick-up location and time.

Applications will open on July 18 at 11 am.

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