July 11, 2018

In West Palm now, bike-sharing may head to another city soon

The bike-sharing program SkyBike started in West Palm Beach in 2015. Boynton Beach could be the next city in Palm Beach County to have the service. (File photo by Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)

Just as in downtown West Palm Beach, residents and visitors in Boynton Beach will soon be able to rent bikes from kiosks and explore the city as part of a new ordinance allowing bike-sharing programs.

City commissioners approved the program this past week. An attorney for SkyBike, which runs in West Palm Beach, said the company hopes to have an agreement with Boynton by the next commission meeting, July 17.

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The bikes will be docked at locations that are yet to be determined.

Boynton is second in Palm Beach County to offer bike-sharing, behind only West Palm, said Rebecca Harvey, Boynton’s sustainability coordinator.

SkyBike has approached Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Lantana and Lake Worth to start programs there as well, the company’s attorney Neil Schiller told the commission. Schiller said SkyBike hopes to have “interoperability” between all cities.

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But Boynton is open to other companies in addition to SkyBike, and more than one company’s dock can be stationed at a particular location.

While Mayor Steven Grant recommended charging the companies to open in the city, staff decided against it for now.

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“We want to get the market going. We want to encourage it,” Harvey said, adding that that decision will be assessed in two years.

SkyBike in West Palm charges customers, according to its website, $3 for every 30 minutes, with membership costing $14.95 per month and $99 per year, taxes not included. With monthly and annual memberships, people can use the bikes for an unlimited number of times, but individual trips are limited to 45 minutes.

Follow Boynton Beach reporter Alexandra Seltzer on Twitter at @alexseltzer

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