Electric scooter and moped rentals are back in Miami and Coral Gables. There’s a new rule

Rob Wile
·2 min read

Scooters are back in Miami-Dade — thousands of them, in fact.

Last month, Miami-Dade quietly lifted its pandemic-related order that had banned the rental of electric motorized vehicles. The city of Miami subsequently voted to revive its scooter pilot program Sept. 24.

Friday, 2,700 scooters returned to the city’s District 2, which includes Coconut Grove, downtown and Edgewater. That figure is currently the maximum scooter fleet the city is allowing. The vehicles come from five companies — Bird, Lime, Lyft, Spin, and new Italian-American firm Helbiz — down from the nine different companies that had deposited scooters on city streets prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, Uber sold its scooter line, Jump, to Lime. A representative for Miami Beach-based scooter company Bolt did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“That’s a good thing,” District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell said of the reduced vehicle load. “There were a few too many on the road prior to the shutdown.”

And there’s a new rule: Each scooter must now come equipped with disinfectant.

The city’s scooter pilot program will run for another six months, or until the city has prepared a request-for-proposal that would determine which companies will be allowed to permanently operate in the city, Russell said.

Coral Gables has also brought back scooters. Miami Today reported this week that Spin had returned 50 vehicles there, with more coming from Bird.

Revel, an electric moped rental company, also returned to Miami in late September. In response to safety concerns for these vehicles, riders must now watch a training video on their phone about how to ride them, as well as snap a selfie that shows a helmet being worn. Scooter rentals do not require helmets.

Miami-Dade’s order lifting its ban also included bike rentals. A representative for the Citi Bike rental program did not immediately respond to a request for comment.