Whether residents love them or hate them, Miami has decided that scooter sharing is coming to the city one way or the other. So instead of banning the alternative transport, the city commission will adopt new rules to govern the service.
On November 19, the Miami City Commission voted 4-1 to cancel its Lyft electric scooter pilot program citing safety concerns. At the time, the ride-sharing company had until the end of the business day to remove the scooters from Miami streets or have their property impounded. Now, less than two weeks later, commissioners have changed their minds.
On Monday, the Miami City Commission voted to rescind its ban on electric scooters. In a 3-1 vote, commissioners agreed to continue the Lyft scooter-sharing pilot. However, riders and Lyft (or other companies) will have to abide by new rules.
Before making its decision, Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla encouraged fellow seatholders to hear from businesses that profit from the scooter-sharing service. The testimony was convincing enough to change the governing body’s mind. However, the Commission called for new safety rules.
Local 10 (WPLG) notes the new scooter regulations include speed limits and helmet requirements. It also restricted the service to two vehicles per city block. Miami’s parking authority will handle drafting the new ordinances, and the Commission has floated the idea of hiring additional police officers to enforce the rules.
Commissioner Diaz de la Portilla sees alternative transportation as an inevitability and that the city should regulate it to ensure safety.
“Change is coming; it’s going to happen anyway. Regulate it,” Diaz de la Portilla said.