Abandoned Bike Removal Pilot Project

Abandoned Bike Removal Pilot Project

Abandoned bikes pose a challenge to bicyclists by reducing the number of bike parking spaces in addition to causing safety, accessibility, and aesthetic problems. CommuterChoice has partnered with Facilities Maintenance Operations (FMO) to provide a consistent mechanism for building managers to remove abandoned bicycles on campus.

How to identify an abandoned bike

Abandoned bikes are easy to spot. Look for rusted chains, pinch the wheel to check for flat tires, or look for any warped or missing bike parts such as a seat, handlebars, or wheels. Still unsure? Email a picture and the location of the bike in question to commuterchoice@harvard.edu and we'll investigate.

Below are some examples of abandoned bikes on campus:

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Report an abandoned bike

Please note that this proccess is for building managers. If you are a Harvard affiliate interested in having an abandoned bike removed please contact your building manager directly.

1. Building Managers should report abandoned bikes by emailing commuterchoice@harvard.edu. Include the number of abandoned bikes, the location, and pictures if possible. In addition, please send your mailing address and a 33 digit billing code (see cost estimates below).

2. CommuterChoice will send waterproof tags via interoffice mail for the building manager to afix to bikes, and optional messaging for building occupants notifying them of the removal of abandoned bikes. 

3. Two weeks after tagging, the building manager will report any unclaimed bikes to CommuterChoice.

4. If any bikes remain unclaimed, FMO will cut locks and store bikes offsite.

5. CommuterChoice will work with the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) to identify abandoned bike owners. After 90 days, any unclaimed bicycles will be donated to non-profits to be refurbushed and reused by the Boston-area community.


There is a $150 charge to bring FMO on site, plus a $15 charge per abandoned bike removed. Costs will only be incurred if bikes are removed. 

Retrieving Your Bike

Owners of abandoned bikes may retrieve their bikes within 90 days of removal for a $25 charge which helps cover the cost of removal and storage. Please note that bike owners will not be reimbursed for any damage incurred to the bike or the lock during removal. To retrieve your abandoned bike, please contact the CommuterChoice office at commuterchoice@harvard.edu or 617.384.9880

Program Benefits

  • University-wide mechanism for managing abandoned bikes
  • Staff time savings
  • Searchable database of abandoned bikes
  • Coordination with HUPD to identify owners of abandoned bikes with bike registration
  • Recycling of cut locks and unusable bikes
  • Centralized bike storage location
  • Consistent bike retrieval mechanism for those whose bikes have been cut

Get started today by calling 617.384.7433 or emailing commuterchoice@harvard.edu