On November 18th, Miami voted to end a multi-year pilot that had allowed companies like Bird and Lime to operate electric scooter rentals within the city’s downtown core. The practical result of the decision was that scooters weren’t allowed in the city. Less than two weeks later, Miami commissioners have now voted to launch a new temporary program that will allow six companies to rent out the vehicles in the city’s Edgewater, Brickell and Coconut Grove neighborhoods until January 5th, 2022.
"This news comes as a relief to Miami residents who've long relied on e-scooters as a safe, affordable and sustainable way to get around. We look forward to working closely with the commissioners and Mayor Suarez to develop a permanent program that prioritizes safety for riders and non-riders alike,” said Bruno Lopes, senior manager for government relations at Lime. “We specifically hope the city will continue to invest the millions of dollars in e-scooter fees Lime and other operators pay into protected bike lanes, the most proven way to ensure the safety of all road users."
Under the new program, riders will need to wear helmets when they travel on a scooter. Additionally, the city will enforce a stricter parking limit to reduce sidewalk clutter. Commissioners voted three to one in favor of implementing a new rental program after they voted four to one to scrap the previous one 11 days ago. Both votes were led by Commissioner Alex Díaz de la Portilla. The short duration of this latest pilot is due to a local city law that limits the length of temporary programs. It’s possible Miami could once again outlaw scooters while the city conducts a public bid to select three companies that will operate under a permanent program.