Key West could have bike-sharing as a transportation option if the City Commission approves a recommendation by staff to partner with a company called Zagster.
Key West has plenty of bike-rental vendors but no bike-sharing, where for a fee someone could take a bike from point A to point B and leave it at another bike-sharing station. Across the country, prices range from $8 to $15 a day or $50 to $150 a year for an annual membership.
All fees, even with the yearly membership, tend to rise after 30 to 45 minutes as a way to prevent competition with bike-rental businesses.
“It’s not for touring or for a leisurely one-hour ride,” said Chris Hamilton, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, who helped rank three proposals and put Zagster at the top of the pile. “It’s from point A to point B, quickly unlocking the bike, getting there and quickly putting the bike back into service.”
The other two bike-sharing proposals come from Gotcha and Social Bicycles.
Hamilton said now that ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are in town and the Duval Loop, a free bus service around downtown is coming online Aug. 31, Key West offers more options that act as an incentive for people to park their cars and use alternative transportation.
Bike-sharing is another layer, Hamilton said.
“Someone who has a car at his disposal but wants to go to Southernmost Point might think twice: I could walk, ride-share, bike-share or I could take the Loop,” he said.
All research shows that offering options is the key to easing traffic congestion, Hamilton said.
“No single one is the single bullet that solves the traffic congestion,” he said. “When you start to provide more and more, you can have a bigger impact.”
Commissioners meet Tuesday at City Hall, 1300 White St., starting at 6 p.m.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen