This is an interesting question, and I'm wondering if you have the same motivation as we in Austin are finding:  we have WAY more people coming to use our shop than we can handle anymore.  We don't want to send folks away, but we are starting to see 45 - 50 people coming in per four hour open shop.  This is compared to maybe 20 - 25 folks a couple years ago.

If we pull out all the portable stands, we have about thirteen stands and only eight complete tool sets; so it's pretty overwhelming to get so many people at once, and really diminishes everyone's experience.  We've been toying with the idea of requiring folks to become collective members (volunteer 24 hours every three months) in order to gain free access to the shop, then charging others for shop use.  But this might effectively increase demand for shop time since lots of folks who mostly work on their own bikes would now be trying to maintain 24 volunteer hours per season on top of their own personal time.

On the other hand, more collective members means our all-volunteer run organization would potentially attract more coordinators to run shops, which would mean the shop could be open more often to accommodate all the hoards.

We're planning on setting up a waiting area with reference library, magazines, coffee, social atmosphere at our new shop that we're hoping to move into this summer and just having folks take a number and get in line.

What are people's experiences with this "problem?" 

(Yellow Bike Project, Austin Texas)

On Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 10:07 AM, Jessica McPherson <> wrote:
Hello everyone,

I am wondering who out there has tried having membership requirements, and how that has worked.  Has it resulted in greater volunteer committment?  How has it affected the demographics of the people that use the shop? Has anyone tried a set-up kind of like a food cooperative, where you have to volunteer hours at the shop in order to be able to use it? 

Jessica (Free Ride, Pittsburgh)

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