Personal Wheels (including Bikes/Scooters) Safety & Security

Safe Operation and Storage of Bikes, Scooters, and Other Personal Wheels

The MIT Parking & Transportation Office provides campus-wide guidelines for the safe operation, parking, storage, and charging of Personal Wheels (or PWs: bikes, scooters, skateboards, and other non-medical transportation devices, with and without motors).

  • Review the Personal Wheels guidelines to learn about:
    • How and why to register your PW (required for PWs with motors);
    • How to operate your PW safely on campus;
      • Note that it is prohibited to operate any PW inside an Institute building or parking structure, except for wheeled devices and vehicles designed for and used by individuals with mobility-related disabilities or medical conditions;
    • Where to park and store your PW (outside whenever possible); and
    • Required safety procedures to follow if you charge a PW on campus.

Personal Wheels Security

The theft of bicycles and other PWs is a frequent campus crime. The MIT Police Crime Prevention Unit recommends you take the following steps to prevent the loss of your PW:

  • Register your personal wheels (required for PWs with motors) here. Learn more about registration
  • Use a heavy-duty U-Lock. Safeguard your PW with a heavy-duty locking device secured through both wheels and around the frame to an immovable object. Cables and chains are easily defeated. Leave as little room as possible in the "U" portion of the lock to minimize the space for thieves to insert tools.
  • Lock your PW at all times when not in use. Don't lock your PW in the same area all the time, because a thief may notice a pattern. If possible, lock your PW in a location that is well-traveled and well-lit even after dark. Don’t leave your PW unlocked and unattended even briefly while you run into an office or store. 
  • Use designated racks. PWs may be parked at any bike rack on campus. Do not obstruct building entrances, sidewalks, paths, wheelchair ramps, etc. Avoid damaging campus artwork, landscaping, or infrastructure, and do not attach to trees, plantings, benches, railings, etc. An improperly parked PW is subject to removal. More information
  • Utilize secure storage areas. The MIT Parking & Transportation Office administers three secure outdoor storage areas for registered bikes and other PWs without motors. These areas can be found at the following locations:
    • Behind Building 13
    • Under Building E62 in the Sloan Garage
    • Under Building E37 in the Hayward Garage

To use one of these areas, request access when you fill out your registration form. More information

Missing or Stolen Personal Wheels

If your PW is missing, check with the Parking & Transportation Office. An improperly parked PW is subject to removal. If you suspect your PW has been stolen from the MIT campus, contact the MIT Police at (617) 253-1212. If your PW goes missing from an off-campus location, contact the local police.

Rules of the Road

As a rider, it is your responsibility to know the rules of the road. The following is a summary of Massachusetts General Laws and Cambridge ordinances concerning the operation of bicycles. Read more about the Commonwealth’s bike laws and bike laws in Cambridge (note that other PWs may be subject to different regulations).

  • Obey all traffic laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts including red lights, stop signs, crosswalks, and riding with traffic.
  • Ride single file and stay to the right of the roadway, except for left-hand turns or where bike lanes lead otherwise.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Use hand signals.
  • The City of Cambridge Ordinance addresses the issue of biking on sidewalks. Bikes are not banned from all sidewalks, only the ones listed in specific business districts. For more information about biking in Cambridge, visit here.
  • When riding at night, all riders must use a white light at the front and a red light or red reflector at the rear. If your pedals don’t have reflectors, you need to wear reflectors on your ankles.