The Miami City Commission has voted to end its multiyear experiment with shared electric scooters. In a four to five vote, the commission approved to end the Miami scooter pilot. The ordinance went into effect at midnight November 18th.
“We’re shutting it down,” said Commissioner Alex Díaz de la Portilla, according to Mass Transit magazine. “That’s it.”
Lyft, VP of transit, bike and scooter policy, Caroline Samponaro said: The scooter companies were incensed by the vote. “We’re extremely disappointed in the Commission’s hasty and short sighted action to end the scooter program, taking away a safe and popular transportation option used by thousands of Miami residents daily and putting dozens of workers out of a job the week before Thanksgiving.”
Samponaro cited recent comments by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez in support of shared electric scooters while speaking at the LA Auto Show. We are hopeful he will stand up to the Commission on behalf of Miami residents and visitors to stop this action, she said of the mayor.
Commissioners who voted to end the pilot claimed to be motivated by safety. “On Biscayne Boulevard, at whatever hour of the day, you see kids on these scooters,” said Díaz de la Portilla, who led the effort to end the program, according to Mass Transit. “This is an accident waiting to happen.”
Since 2018, Miami residents and tourists have been able to use mobile apps to rent dockless electric scooters. Companies have until 5PM on Friday, November 19th, to retrieve their scooters from the streets or the city will impound them.
Scooters typically draw some controversy wherever they’re deployed, but the electric two-wheelers were particularly divisive in Miami. Supporters claimed they were useful in reducing car usage and connecting residents to transit hubs. Critics said they were a nuisance, blocking sidewalks and creating situations in which unskilled riders were in danger of being injured in traffic.