Bicycle Security

Bicycle theft is a frequent campus crime. You should safeguard your bicycle by using a heavy-duty locking device and securing your bicycle through both wheels and around the frame to an immovable object. Cables and chains are easily defeated. The MIT Police Crime Prevention Unit recommends you take the following steps to prevent the loss of your bicycle:

  • Register your bike. Register with the MIT Parking and Transportation office using the Bike Registration Form. There is no fee for this service. After you complete this form, a bicycle registration sticker will be mailed to you. Registering your bike helps to recover it should your bike become lost or stolen. Questions about bicycle registration should be directed towards MIT Parking & Transportation at
  • Use a heavy duty U-Lock. Leave as little room as possible in the "U" portion of the lock to minimize the space for thieves to insert tools.
  • Keep your bike locked at all times when not in use. Don’t leave your bike unlocked and unattended even "just for a minute while you run into an office or store".  Don't lock your bike in the same area all the time. A thief may notice a pattern.
  • Use designated racks only. Bicycles may be parked at any bike rack on campus. They cannot be locked to undesignated objects such as a staircase railing, handicap ramp, etc. (REMEMBER: there is a $25 fine, after 24 hours is a $50 fine. Don't lock you bike to small trees, chain link fences, or locked to itself. These items can easily be cut or carried away without notice. If your locking your bike and it will be in an area after darkness, be sure it is in a well-lit and traveled area.
  • Utilize Bicycle Cages. The MIT Parking & Transportation Office administers bicycle compounds located in the rear of Building 13 and under Building E53 in the Hermann Garage. Cards to access to the compounds can be requested by sending an email to Your bicycle must be registered with the MIT Parking & Transportation Office in order to gain access to a secure bike compound.

Missing or Stolen Bikes

If your bike is missing from campus call the MIT Police at (617) 253-1212. If your bike is stolen off campus contact the police in that city.

Bike and Wheeled Transportation Safety

Wheeled Violations (Excerpt from the From the MIT Annual Safety and Security Report, 2017, page 10)

Bicycles found illegally parked or attached to stairway handrails will be removed by the MIT Parking and Transportation Department. In order to obtain the release of your bike, you will have to go to MIT Parking and Transportation (E17-106). MIT is not responsible for damage to, or the theft/loss of, your bike or lock. In Institute buildings or parking structures, it is prohibited to operate bicycles, in-line skates, skateboards, hoverboards, or any other form of wheeled personal transportation except for medical devices such as wheelchairs and scooters. A fine will be imposed.

Rules of the Road

As a cyclist 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 bike laws.

  • Obey all traffic laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts including red lights, stop signs, crosswalks and riding with traffic.
  • Stay to the right of the roadway, except for the left hand turns, or where bike lanes direct otherwise and must ride single file.
  • 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 bicyclists must use a white light on the front, a red light or red reflector on the rear. If your pedals don’t have reflectors, you need to wear reflectors on your ankles.