History of CBP

A Brief History of the Community Bike Project at SUNY Cortland

Fall 2003

  • Planning for the creation of bike share program started with collaboration of student, faculty and staff 
  • Research was conducted on how other bike programs were operated
  • The SUNY Cortland campus was studied to determine what would work on our campus
  • The Community Bike Project (CBP) started with seed bikes from a donation drive
  • The first refurbished bike was named Ol' Blue and is on display in the Outdoor Pursuits Center today


Spring 2004

  • The first 15 yellow bikes went out and were unlocked around campus for anyone to use
  • Bike rangers (volunteers) locked bikes up at night to racks painted yellow located all over campus
  • Bike rangers also collected bikes found off campus
  • At the end of the first semester, the program was missing only one bike

Fall 2004 to Spring 2009

  • The program had grown up to 65 yellow bikes to be left unlocked and free to use all over campus
  • Volunteers built bikes, painted and designed bikes, maintained bikes, kept bikes safe, solicited donated bikes, and much more
  • Began the "Red Bike Rental Program," for those who wanted a long-term bike for use
  • Began the "Green Work Bike Program, " for groups who wanted to ride a bike to do errands instead  of using a car
  • Began to see more missing bikes and more careless use of yellow bikes

Fall 2009 to Spring 2011

  • Began the free yellow bike check-out/check-in program
  • Recreation administration students from the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department oversaw the program
  • Continued to build the fleet, including yellow free bikes, red rental bikes, and green work bikes
  • Added a free yellow hand cycle for students with disabilities

Fall 2011 - Fall 2014

  • The goal of the project was to add a high quality fleet of bikes for group checkout and group rides, fundraise for "88" bikes and to continue to sustain the bike program.

Spring 2015 - Spring 2018

  • With the creation of the new Student Life Center, the CBP was relocated to a new home within the Recreational Sports Department under Outdoor Pursuits 
  • The focus for the first two years has mainly been involved with trying to understand the program and how to continue to offer an alternate, safe mode of transportation for the college community
  • Initiatives moving forward include
    • Purchasing a few new bikes each year to phase out the oldest bikes
    • Re-painting all bikes
    • Outfitting all bikes with reflectors and bells
    • Providing lights available for rent
    • Providing more education such as an orientation video to all bike users
    • Collaborating with the City of Cortland to host workshops and participate in the annual Halloween Parade

Fall 2019 - Current

  • Adding new bikes to our fleet to be used as semester rentals. There is now a total of 30 Specialized Alibi bikes available for rental during the semester.
  • Maintaining and improving the fleet of free, weekly rentals.
  • Training and hiring bike technicians
  • Providing bike programming and trips such as community rides to local coffee shops, and an overnight bikepacking trip!