The bicycle commuter benefit allows bike commuters to receive a $30/month (maximum $360/year) post-tax reimbursement against costs associated with bicycle purchase, improvement, repair and storage.
A qualified bicycle commuting month is one during which a benefits eligible employee/postdoc is biking for a substantial portion of the commute and does not receive a monthly transit pass or parking permit through Harvard University.
This benefit operates on the calendar year; your total reimbursement amount accrues over the calendar year and is paid back to you against the total eligible expenses you incurred in the same year. Reimbursement claims are processed and paid in the spring of the following year. If you are a new employee/postdoc or use a parking permit or transit pass through Harvard for some months of the year, your total reimbursement value is prorated based on your eligible months.
Who is eligible?
Full time benefits eligible faculty, staff and postdocs paid directly by Harvard who commute by bicycle to work. For the 2023 benefit, employees must be active Harvard employees through January 31, 2024 to receive this benefit. If you have questions about eligibility please email CommuterChoice.
Members of the Harvard Graduate Student Union (HGSU) bargaining unit paid directly by Harvard who commute by bicycle to work are also eligible for the benefit. If you have questions about general student worker benefits eligibility, including whether your job qualifies you for the HGSU bargaining unit, please contact the Harvard Graduate Student Union.
What is reimbursable?
Bicycle commuters are eligible for reimbursement of up to $30/month at a maximum of $360/year for the costs associated with bicycle purchase, improvement, repair and storage relating to your bicycle commute.
Purchases such as bike racks, scooters, indoor/exercise bikes (click link for HUGHP expanded fitness benefit) or expenses incurred outside the calendar year or by your spouse or dependents are not eligible at this time.
Eligible expenses include:
New or used bicycles purchased from a store or a private party.
A bike is the only item that may be purchased from a private party; any other bike-related purchases made from a private party are not eligible for reimbursement.
If you do not have a legitimate receipt for your bicycle purchase, please download, fill out and upload the In Lieu of Receipt form as additional documentation on the submission form. The In Lieu of Receipt form will only be accepted for bicycle purchases from a private party. If an In Lieu of Receipt form is not submitted or missing documentation (copy of advertisement, photo of item, etc.) for these purchases, your claim will be denied. Note: In Lieu of Receipt form will only work in a PDF editor. It will not allow you to upload supporting documentation in a web browser. If you do not have a PDF editor, you may print out form, fill it out by hand and scan the completed form along with the supporting documentation to upload as one document.
Maintenance, improvements, accessories
- Purchasing parts and/or the service used to improve a bicycle as well as tools and on-bike accessories, such as on-bike racks, locks, panniers and trailers for kids.
- Bike specific apparel such as cycling gloves, biking shoes and biking shorts are eligible for reimbursement. Non biking specific items such as coats or backpacks, although they may be used for your bike commute, are not eligible for reimbursement. If you are unclear about whether or not an item is eligible please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Parking and storage
- The costs associated with fees for parking or storing a bicycle anywhere from a day to a year. Items such as ground or car racks or other storage solutions are not eligible.
- Helmets, lights, bells, and reflectors (attached to the bike).
Bluebikes membership with Harvard discount
- Annual Bluebikes memberships purchased in 2023 with the Harvard discount are eligible for the 2023 benefit. Monthly or daily memberships are not covered, nor are bike share memberships from other cities.
What form of supporting documentation is needed?
For all expenses, attach receipts or evidence of purchase that clearly state all of the following:
- Name of service provider/seller
- Description of service or supplies
- Amount paid AND form of payment
- Date(s) of service
Bicycle purchases from a private party which do not meet the receipt qualifications above require an In Lieu of Receipt form as additional documentation. If an In Lieu of Receipt form is not submitted or missing documentation (copy of advertisement, photo of item, etc.) for these purchases, your claim will be denied.
Receipts showing another person's name will not be accepted.
The University reserves the right to cancel or deny reimbursement claims with or without cause at any time.
How do I apply and what are the application deadlines?
The 2022 bike benefit appication is closed. The 2023 application will be posted later this year. The 2023 application deadline is January 31, 2024. To be notified when the 2023 application goes live please sign up for our mailing list.