Public Bike System Co., doing business as Bixi, has filed for bankruptcy protection as of January 20th, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The Canadian company, based in Montreal, has supplied bike-sharing service Divvy with over 3000 bicycles and equipment to build and maintain 300 bicycle docks, which have become near-ubiquitous since their introduction to Chicago in July 2013. While this may come as a shock to the many Chicagoans who have taken to Divvy’s affordable and environmentally-conscious service, the City of Montreal issued a massive loan to the beleaguered Bixi to help it avoid bankruptcy.
The city is optimistic about this news, which seems grim on its surface. Peter Scales, spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Transportation, maintains that “current operations will not be impacted by the announcement that Public Bike System (PBSC) has filed for bankruptcy.” While this is good news for the communities and neighborhoods already served by Divvy, it says nothing of the ambitious plans for expansion set to take place in 2014. Divvy had hoped that the fleet of bicycles would increase to 4750, and the number of docking stations to increase to 475. These were to further serve the city, as well as nearby suburbs, like Evanston in the north and Oak Park to the west. The fate of these projects is unknown, but again, Chicago remains optimistic. “Companies operate under bankruptcy frequently. I would be shocked if the whole system here were curtailed,” said an unnamed CDOT official. “Worst case, Chicago and Alta (Divvy’s parent company) find a new supplier.”
Regardless of Divvy’s ultimate fate, bicyclists will not vanish from the streets of Chicago. Spurred by support from the Mayor’s office, bike-friendly public works projects, and the vitality of environment- and health-conscious youth, biking is becoming more and more popular. This may mean a reduction in congestion on the streets and air pollution caused by car emissions. However, it may spell an increase in preventable road accidents involving bicyclists. In Illinois, someone riding a bike has the same responsibilities as someone driving a car. However, despite what many motorists feel, bicyclists also have the same rights as those driving on the road. This fact may mean careless drivers can find themselves responsible for severe or potentially fatal accidents with bicyclists.
Chicago Dooring Accident Lawyer
When a driver parallel parks, the driver’s side of the car is often facing into traffic. A prudent driver will look in their rearview mirror, and then over their shoulder, to ensure that nothing is approaching before opening their door. If they do not, they may find their door sheared off by a car or truck. The same is true of approaching bicyclists, except that the door will likely come out better in the collision than the bicyclist. In both instances, however, it would be the fault of the driver opening their door. With the car shearing off a door, the driver would actually be liable for damage caused to the other car. With the bicyclists, the driver may be liable for broken bones, or possibly wrongful death.