Going Green: SUNY Cortland Bike Project
SUNY Cortland has created a project that includes both community involvement, as well as student volunteers. Our Terry Ettinger tells us more.
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The SUNY Cortland Bike Project is a community project in which the bicycles are donated, and student volunteers staff the shop.
"We have 60 to 70 bikes out right now. We’re still bringing bikes in. We’re collecting bikes. We restore bikes. Once they’re ready then a student will make the bike. When they design it they get to name the bike, give it a number and then it goes out on the rack and waits for a student to take it out," said Eli Cook, SUNY Cortland Community Bike Project. "We have the yellow bikes that go out for a week at a time. The students have to come back renew the bike each week and they can change bikes if they want. Then we have the red bike program. It’s a little bit nicer bike with handbrakes and gears. And those go out for the semester at $40. Finally, we have the green bikes, which are the three-wheel bikes that we try to rent out to the departments for carrying whatever they need."
The project is so popular that there is a waiting list, especially for the yellow bikes, which are free, and they've encountered very few problems.
"Each person, each student is responsible for the bike. We have their information so if they don’t bring a bike back they’re charged a fee for the bike. But people don’t really want to steal these bikes. They take them out and they’re responsible. Each student is given a lock and a key and there are places all over campus to lock them up. The students have been really responsible with the bikes," explained Cook.
Cook said part of their great success is the 20 student volunteers.
He added, "Some are here everyday and some will come once a week just to get their hours done and then you have some students just live here in-between classes."
Another key to success is the bike donations from the community.