Chicago giving away 5,000 bikes to eligible residents — how to apply

In an effort to make riding a bicycle more safe and affordable, the city of Chicago is giving away thousands of bikes to eligible residents.

The bike distribution program will give away 5,000 bikes — including safety and maintenance equipment — over the next four years to residents who qualify by age and income.

For the first year of the program, bikes will be distributed to city residents who participate in the 2022 Chicago Department of Transportation mobility programming, such as Green Corps, Learn to Ride, and Open Boulevard Events — and the bikes will be given out on a first come, first serve basis.


Depending on the demand for the bikes, the city may go the route of using a lottery for years 2-4 of the program for eligible residents.

Are you eligible?

Here's who qualifies for the bike distribution program.

  • You must be a Chicago resident, 14 years and older (those under 18 will need a guardian's signature on a liability waiver).
  • Have a household income at or below 100% of the Area Median Income for Chicago. ***See chart HERE***
  • You must not already own a bicycle.
  • Must be a resident that faces higher mobility hardship. ***See map***
  • Must be a participant in CDOT 2022 mobility programming (Green Corps, Learn to Ride, and Open Boulevard Events)

How do I apply?

Chicago residents will be able to apply for a bike on July 18 at 11 a.m. at this website. You can apply online or use a paper application. (There will be no preference between paper and online applications (they will be ordered by the date submitted or postmarked).

When can I pick up my bike?

The city will begin distributing bikes to those who qualify in August and September 2022. Then, they will continue to distribute them every spring and summer for the following four years until 5,000 bikes are given away.

  • If you are a participant in the Green Corps Programs, the bike and accompanying equipment will be distributed through the program.
  • If you participate in a CDOT Learn to Ride program, staff will coordinate with you to pick up a bike and equipment at a City distribution site.
  • If you participate in a CDOT Open Boulevards event, staff will coordinate with you to pick up a bike and equipment at a City distribution site.

For more information, visit the Bike Chicago website.