Bike Commuter Benefit

Bike Commuter Benefit

**June 2022 Update for Student Workers: Payment distribution is coming soon - the union will send out an email with more details on payment timing in the coming weeks.**

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. COVID-19 "work from home" months are eligible for the benefit as long as you didn't have a parking permit or order a T pass during those months.

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 2021 benefit, employees must be active Harvard employees through January 31, 2022 to receive this benefit. This includes those who take the early voluntary retirement (VERIP) package. For the 2022 benefit, employees must be active Harvard employees through January 31, 2023 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 can find additional details about the bicycle benefit and the application here.

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.

Purchases such as bicycle apparel, clothing, 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:

Bicycle purchase

  • 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 trailors for kids. 

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.

Safety gear

  • Helmets, lights, bells, and reflectors (attached to the bike).

Bluebikes membership with Harvard discount

  • Annual Bluebikes memberships purchased in 2021 with the Harvard discount are eligible for the 2021 benefit. Monthly or daily memberships are not covered, nor are other bike share memberships.

How do bicyclists take advantage of the subsidy?

  • Employees have one (1) opportunity to submit the bike benefit application. To utilize the program to your maximum benefit, only submit your application when you have either met the total qualified amount or when you are certain you will no longer incur 2021 bike expenses. 

What form of supporting documentation is needed?

For all expenses, attach receipts or evidence of purchase that clearly state all of the following:

  1. Name of service provider/seller
  2. Description of service or supplies
  3. Amount paid AND form of payment
  4. 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.

What are the application deadlines and payment processes?

The deadline to submit 2021 receipts was on February 28, 2022 and the benefit submission period is now closed. Payments were distributed in late May/early June 2022 via payroll deduction for full-time, benefits-eligible, active employees or check if you have left the University. The application for 2022 receipts will become available this fall with a deadline of January 31, 2023.