I'm Sean Gillies. I work at Mapbox and am super fond of Python.
For about a year now I've been publishing macosx wheels for Shapely (PostGIS operations without a database) that include their GEOS shared libs following the recipe at https://github.com/MacPython/wiki/wiki/Spinning-wheels and they've been a success. Very recently I received a contribution that does the same thing for almost any linux based on the work at https://github.com/pypa/manylinux and have gone ahead and published shapely 1.6.dev0 binary wheels for Linux: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/Shapely/1.6.dev0#downloads.
Here's what this means: on a Linux machine like your Travis CI or EC2 instance or whatever all you need to do is
$ pip install -U pip $ pip install --pre shapely
and you'll get a fully loaded shapely 1.6.dev0 package with GEOS 3.5. By default pip does not get unstable packages and you must use --dev to get shapely 1.6.dev0, the very early pre-release of Shapely.
These new wheels have been made possible by Andy Freeland (see https://github.com/Toblerity/Shapely/pull/391). Send Andy thanks and send me bug reports, I'm 100% committed to making these Linux wheels as useful as they can be.
-- Sean Gillies