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Bike-share program debated on Anna Maria Island

Bike rental companies oppose the new program
Posted: 3:35 PM, Jan 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-11 19:09:13-05
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ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. — A Manatee County company wants to bring a bike-share company to Anna Maria Island.

Tom Pechous and Tracy Thrall said they want to place about 150 bikes at different stations throughout Anna Maria Island.

"We are trying to create a bike-share program similar to the major cities that have them," said Thrall.

The two men have been working with Holmes Beach City Council members for more than a year, but their business still hasn't been approved. They believe they are getting some push-back from the owners of existing bike rental companies.

"I'm feeling like we are being discriminated against with this, we are just another bike rental company," said Pechous.

Eric Irons owns AMI Beach Fun Rentals. He is concerned a bike-share program will bring low quality rentals to Anna Maria Island.

"There definitely needs to be some maintenance going on and if they aren't keeping up with it the bikes will just fall apart," said Irons.

Holmes Beach City Council members will do a workshop on the bike-share program later this month.