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Projects Updates for place: Alma Mater

  1. Light the night 2019 - funding agreements

    Associated Project(s): 

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, City of Champaign, City of Urbana, and MTD agreed to contribute $1,500 each to purchase bicycle lights for Light the Night event.

    On July 25, 2019, Morgan White confirmed that Sarthak Prasad will be the primary contact for Light the Night for F&S.

  2. Weekly Update - Bike to Work Day, Bike Rodeo, etc.

    All, What a week! Last week (and weekend) was a TBP meeting, Bike To Work Day, the Bike Rodeo, and picking up donations from the Community Bike Sale. Lots of extracurricular activity! All of the events went well but not amazingly well. Attendance was on the low side for BTWD and BR but the weather is a major culprit there.

    Since 2pm on Friday we’ve gotten (rough count) 20 bike donations, so we’re pretty inundated right now. With bad weather in the forecast and the busyness of finals for most students, we’ll be able to process the donations this week—hopefully.

    Last Friday was the last Fix-a-Flat class and we had our first attendee! Maria and Jacob taught the course well and the gentleman seemed happy to have come. Also on Friday the student staff hosted an impromptu Friday ride of sorts for one of our graduating staffers. This upcoming Friday will be the last official one for the season.

    I’ll be out of town Thursday and Friday so Chris will open and run the shop in my absence.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 73
    Sales: $750.20
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $295
    Memberships: 7 for $210
    Tire/tubes: 9 for $64



    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  3. Weekly Update - Bicycle Donations, Bike to Work Day, etc.

    All, Big but also kind of micro news is that there’s been a noticeable uptick in donations here at the Bike Center. While I’d love to attribute that to our awesome Bike Abandonment Prevention program, it’s really just been local community members who’re cleaning out their garages--most prominently two white bearded men, not the graduating seniors that we’re hoping to attract.

    But that’s a good segue into what our Bike Abandonment Prevention is trying to do: reduce and abate the number of abandoned bikes left by students leaving campus around this time of year. In turn we hope Parking will have to collect fewer bikes that’ll end up in our hands in the end anyway. We’ve got signage and a bike rack set up outside the Bike Center to allow students to donate their bikes and, to incentivize the donation,  in return they can get a water bottle (but the water bottles are only available during open hours). We’ll track how many students are donating and obviously won’t be turning away community donations. There’s already been a social media push and advertising done by Campus Rec to help promote and get the word out!
    We’ve got our Fix-a-Flat class this Friday and of course Bike To Work Day on Wednesday. The weather isn’t looking great but we’ll get the dedicated folks come through, I’m sure. Jeff Yockey dropped off the BTWD shirt last week and we’ve been hanging it by the register to showcase the event. Over the upcoming weekend we’ve got our Bike Rodeo event which will also double as a drop-off spot for the Bike Abandonment Prevention program. May is looking busy but it is Bike Month!


    Visitors: 73
    Sales: $812.50
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $500



    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  4. Bike to Work Day Registration

    Associated Project(s): 

    Ride your bike to work on Wed., May 1, and get a free t-shirt! Welcome stations will be set up across the area from 7-10 a.m. to help you travel to campus. Celebrate C-U Bike Month by stopping in for drinks and snacks. Stations will be hosted by Campus Recreation, Campus Bike Center, University High School, F&S, VeoRide and the Research Park. Register at

    Sign up for Bike to Work Day on May 1

    Sarthak Prasad . Facilities & Services

  5. Plans underway for September 2018 event

    Associated Project(s): 

    We have decided on the original two locations:

    • Illinois and Lincoln
    • Alma Mater

    Date agreed upon was Thursday, September 20, 2018. 4:30 – 7:00 PM.


    Light selection is half Planet Bike Blinky sets and half silicone–wrap sets. MTD will be ordering $3,000 of the silicone lights and TBP will, with their approval, order $3000 of PB Blinky sets.


    With the speed of distribution last year the stations ran out of lights before the end of the event. This year we will not need the reflector station.


    F&S would like to see if we can set-up the event to spend some time talking to the recipient of lights about bike safety and/or do an ABC Quick Check before we install the lights.

  6. Weekly Update

    All, last Tuesday was BIKE TO WORK DAY! It was great! Great weather, great turnout, great conversation, great blindingly bright Vision Zero t shirts. I even sold some tubes and lights here at the Bike Center during the event and helped with some minor tune-ups. Peak times—no surprise—was 8:30 – 9am. After that a few stragglers hung around until  l0.


    On Saturday we had the Bike Rodeo at the ARC parking lot. While we didn’t have the huge turnout we were hoping for, the event ran really smoothly and we were able to educate and teach a lot about bike safety and bike-handling skills. Nothing beats showing a kid who’s barely taller than a bike pump how to air up their tires. Needless to say, that was a team effort.

    This week will be a major shop clean and purge as we’ve received another 8 or so bikes from Champaign Cycle that are on-the-whole quality bikes that need somewhere to be stored. And last week with the doors open a lot of leaves and debris got blown into the shop, so that’ll all need cleaning up as well.



    Visitors: 70
    Sales: $828.60
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $160
    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Tire/tube: 16 for $89



    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  7. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, the major news of last week was the Light The Night event. We installed roughly 870 light sets this year! We completely sold out, which is a first for me in the 4 or so years in which I’ve been involved with this event. With it still being warm out, I hope we can get some valuable feedback from people who’re using the lights in regards to which ones they like, how they’re performing, etc.

    Last week was also the Members’ Meeting for the Bike Project wherein it was decided that used tubes will henceforth be free of charge for in-shop repairs. While this will cut into profits, it is a better choice as we do not have the ability to maintain proper quality control with our used tube selection. If a person wants to buy a tube for later use, however, they must still pay for it.

    Late Friday I got a message from Working Bikes in regards to coordinating for emptying the Bike Warehouse. They would like to do the event next Monday (October 9th). I will discuss with the Bike Project and decide if this is doable.

    The numbers:

    Sales (overall): $867.95
    Memberships: 12 for $360

    Bikes (refurbished): 0
    Bikes (Build-a-Bike): 0
    Tires/Tubes: 26 for $180


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  8. MTD Newsletter for August 2017

    Welcome to MTD's Fall 2017 Service Year

    MTD’s 2017-18 service year began yesterday and new Maps & Schedules books are now available on our buses and at Illinois Terminal. Pick up yours today & let us know if you have any questions-just call 217.384.8188 or email us.

    In addition to a few timetable and routing adjustments, our passengers and the public should be aware of several larger changes this year: MTD has moved to a Designated Stops system, Round Barn Road in Champaign is now the main transfer point for routes in west Champaign, and MCORE project work will continue to cause reroutes in and around Campustown.
    School trips for Unit 4 and District 116 middle and high schoolers will begin this Wednesday, August 16, and just prior to University of Illinois classes beginning Monday, August 28, all summer service reductions will end on Friday, August 25. 

    See you soon on the bus, trail, sidewalk or at Illinois Terminal!

    Introducing Designated Stops

    MTD's Fall 2017 Service Year began on Sunday, August 13, 2017, the same day our new Maps & Schedules book went into effect. 

    One major change this fall is the introduction of system-wide designated stops. Several Open Houses were held to solicit input from the public, and MTD staff compiled and incorporated the comments into our planning process. A full list of designated stops locations and maps are available at in our "Documents" section under Designated Stops Fall 2017.

    We're here to help you with this new system. To find or verify your nearest designated stop, give us a call at 217.384.8188 or send us an email

    State of the (Illini) Union

    MCORE Project work in front of the Illini Union is progressing and reroutes are ongoing. Follow MTD on Facebook or Twitter for reroute information & updates, like this drone footage from Overhead Ag.

    Illinois Terminal Expansion Announced

    Developer Hans Grotelueschen’s major downtown Champaign project once sited at Washington and Walnut streets will move several blocks south and east to merge with a planned expansion of Illinois Terminal by the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD).

    As part of a new vision for this development, Grotelueschen and MTD officials are also evaluating a hockey arena and athletics event center for approximately 5000 spectators. In so doing, they hope to partner with the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA), which recently announced that it was studying the feasibility of adding Division I ice hockey. Read More>

    In the News

    Did you happen to catch MTD Grant Manager Jane Sullivan's Getting Personal piece in yesterday's News-Gazette or WCIA's recent story on Operator Goodrich? We're proud of our people! Take a few minutes to learn more about who drives MTD. 

  9. Weekly Update

    All, last week we totaled 99 visitors to the Campus Bike Center (I blame the rain). Our sales were at $1,104. We sold one Build-a-Bike; three refurbished bikes for $570; five memberships for $150; $102  in tires/tubes; and $93 in locks.

    Beyond the numbers, last week was a doozy! We had Bike To Work Day on Tuesday and it was a great success. While I haven’t heard any official numbers, I estimated about 50 or so people at our station. There were 400 official registrants online as of 6am the morning of BTWD. And of course, the chilly and windy weather probably kept a few people home. Lorenzo, a CBC staffer, was interviewed for a Fox Illinois news piece during the event.

    On Wednesday we had a CBC staff meeting/pizza party. 7/8ths of the CBC student staffers were able to make it and we had a  good discussion and reflection on the experiences of working at the Campus Bike Center and how we can improve looking towards the future of the Center.

    On a sad note, Friday I got news that staffer extraordinaire Logan will not be able to work at the CBC this summer, as he’s taking a job up in Minnesota. I will have to scramble a bit to find his replacement (an impossible task, given his skills and familiarity with the Center).

    This week I will be interviewing for summer help, building bikes, checking on our Housing donation racks, and juggling all the weird finals scheduling mess that throws off everyone’s normal shifts for working here.


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  10. Weekly Update

    All, we had 88 visitors last week—and that includes being closed on Monday and Thursday! We grossed $1,145.30; sold 19 memberships for $570; one bike for $120; and one build-a-bike for $40.

    Last week was eventful. We had The Illinois Bike Summit, Light The Night, and on Friday I counted all the bikes in the warehouse: 517! Light the Night was very successful, installing 1188 lights (or 594 sets) at Alma Mater; numbers on the Illinois/Lincoln location are to-be-determined.

    In tandem with Working Bikes, we’ve set the date for the Bike Warehouse to be emptied: October 7th. I will coordinate with Parking to insure we have access on that date.

    I also set up a Facebook account to promote events and better connect with the cycling community.

    This week I will work on building new bikes that I acquired from the warehouse, continue to organize for the Bike Warehouse event, and persist on the Sisyphean task of organizing inventory and streamlining volunteer tasks to make better use of everyone’s time.


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  11. Weekly Update

    Hello all, this past week was slow, but that was good because it allowed for us to get ready for Bike to Work Day.  We sold 1 bike for $110, 1 build-a-bike for $50, 2 memberships for $50, and grossed $690.50.  We built a lot of bikes and got a lot of work done.

    This coming week we will participate in Bike to Work Day, host a special wheel building class and continue to build bikes.

    From the Campus Outpost,
    James Roedl

  12. overview of the small starts grant projects

    Small Starts is a federal grant program administered by the Federal Transit Administration for eligible transportation projects that cost less than $250 million total. A Small Starts grant proposal is being spearheaded by MTD for a segment of high-traffic streets in the center of campus, which would require a cost-sharing component by all the CATS member agencies.  Within the University District, this grant proposal includes bike lanes on White Street, Wright Street, Green Street from Wright Street to Lincoln Avenue, and Armory Avenue from Wright Street to Fourth Street.  Within the Small Starts proposed improvements, the University has jurisdiction over Armory Avenue from Wright Street to Fourth Street, the Wright Street existing bike path to the east of the roadway from Armory Avenue to Green Street, and the Green Street existing bike path to the north of the curb from Wright Street to east of Goodwin Avenue. 

    The Green Street bike path removal should occur when the City of Urbana installs bike lanes on Green Street.  The Wright Street bike path removal will need to happen in conjunction with the installation of bike lanes on Wright Street, which is under City of Champaign jurisdiction.  The bike lanes on Armory Avenue should occur when the Wright Street and Armory Avenue intersection is reconfigured.  That reconfiguration will include shifting the street and sidewalk southern edges farther to the south, so it will be primarily under the jurisdiction of the University.  However, this work will require careful coordination with the City of Champaign, and the intersection should be done in conjunction with the bike lane installation on Wright Street.

    The projects in this grant proposal are the top priority safety concerns for the University and the other CATS agencies.  Every effort should be made to assist MTD with obtaining this grant, so these safety issues can be addressed quickly and completely. Additionally, because the Small Start Grant will require some matching funds from the member agencies of CATS, the University should be diligent in helping to meet the required match.

  13. Date Set for 2013 Light the Night Event

    Associated Project(s): 

    The annual Light the Night event will take place onThursday, September 12, 2013, from 4pm-7pm or while supplies last.  As in past years, the 2013 event will take place at the corners of Lincoln Ave. & Illinois St. as well as Green St. & Wright St. The Campus Area Transportation Study (CATS) education working group voted in June to approve the 2013 date for the event, and also selected a new bike light to be distributed this year. The event is jointly funded by the CATS member agencies (University of Illinois, Cities of Urbana and Champaign, and CU-MTD).