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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Crest Commissioners Skeptical of E-bike Rental Startup

e-bike stock

By Vince Conti

WILDWOOD CREST – Over the Fourth of July weekend, Earle Aiken, of Galloway Township, launched a new e-bike rental business in Wildwood Crest without making any of the borough’s officials aware of his startup.  

Aiken stood before the borough’s governing body July 6, trying to explain his business, and seeking a way he could salvage e-bike rentals for the summer season. 

As Aiken explained it, the business has no brick-and-mortar location. Motorized bikes are distributed in the town and available for rent. The transaction is handled through a smartphone app.  

“People can pick them up, scan a code, and ride them around town,” he said, adding that the bikes are then left “where they are.” 

Since the borough’s Public Works employees had no knowledge of the new business, they began collecting the idle bikes on the assumption that they were abandoned. 

Aiken explained that he was not able to get a mercantile license since he did not have a physical location in the borough. He asked the governing body to work with him to devise a way for the business to run for the summer season. 

Mayor Don Cabrera said he would want the idea to be reviewed by police and Public Works, as well as create opportunities for public input, neither of which he expected to happen this summer. 

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