MIAMI – Motorized scooters are officially back on the streets of Miami. However, with their relaunch, come some new, stricter guidelines and added safety features.
News of the re-introduction of motorized scooters in Miami-Dade comes less than two months after the electric scooter pilot program was suspended for the second time.
The scooters had returned this past September after being banned in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, during the short period that the scooters had returned, city commissioners were inundated with complaints regarding street clutter, unlawful street use, and underage riders.
Commissioner Ken Russell, whose District 2 hosts the scooter program, said it had become clear in recent weeks that the restart was not working.
Because of those complaints, in a letter to the city’s five scooter providers, Miami City Manager Arthur Noriega stated a second suspension would go into effect starting Dec. 30 and would last until at least Jan. 15.
During the hiatus, they held a series of meetings with private scooter operators to make improvements to the program, which is limited to neighborhoods in and around Miami’s urban core.
Now that motorized scooter pilot program has officially relaunched, officials will keep an eye on whether the new restrictions and guidelines will have a positive, lasting impact.
“We’re thrilled to get back to serving Miami residents with safe, sustainable and affordable transportation options,” said Lisette Garcia, Lime’s government relations director in Miami. “Our scooters are critical to helping people get around in the open-air, while remaining socially distanced.”
“The collaborative work we did with the City Commission on implementing new and improved regulations will improve the program for all and we look forward to a safe program going forward,” Garcia added.
New regulations include assuring that no more than four vehicles per city block face are to be deployed, group rides are deactivated, and hang tags carry a disclaimer warning against underage riding and the imposed fine of $250. They will also be deactivating scooters when there is a city or county curfew, and will be implementing a new reduced maximum scooter speed of 10 mph in a special operating zone established along Biscayne Boulevard, from Chopin Plaza to NE 11th Street, to better protect pedestrians.