The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign (TBP) draws its unique characteristics from its history of cooperative grassroots energy and values, including providing inclusive and open shop space and affordable re-built bikes. TBP established operations in the downtown Urbana shop location in 2006 to provide a space, tools, to repair bikes, share knowledge, hold classes, and advocate for bikes in the Urbana-Champaign community.
The success of the project, along with the increasing demand for cycling resources on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus led to a collaboration in 2010 between the Bike Project and UIUC to create the Campus Bicycle Center (CBC). The space was donated by the Illinois State Geological Survey and the Illinois Natural History Survey, and the conversion of the 10 former garage bays was funded by a $30,000 grant from the Student Sustainability Committee. UIUC provided the space rent-free as well as funding for a part-time staff manager. In 2011, UIUC and TBP co-funded the part-time position. The first full-time manager of CBC was hired in 2012, along with the first part-time student employees.
TBP currently operates two community bike shops where members can come and use the shop during open hours. The Downtown Urbana shop is staffed by volunteers, while the CBC is operated by a combination of paid and volunteer staff.
Bicycles are donated by the University of Illinois, the cities of Urbana and Champaign, local landlords, and individuals; the bicycles are then rebuilt for sale. Revenue from the sales of recycled bicycles currently funds overhead to maintain the operations of both shops, with additional University grants for personnel at the campus shop. The Bike Project has a membership of 500 people who can visit either the Campus or Downtown Urbana shops, and an annual operating budget of approximately $60,000.