One week after city's program for electric scooters ended, Miami's mayor is now saying there is room for discussion on the subject.
Mayor Francis Suarez issued a statement Tuesday saying a special city commission meeting will take place next Monday to address the topic.
"The scooter program has been a tremendous success for addressing micro-mobility limitations in the City of Miami and a more robust scooter program has the potential to solve one of the biggest challenges that face American cities: the last mile," Suarez said in the statement.
Since 2018, hundreds of riders have used apps on their mobile phones to rent scooters, but the commission voted last Thursday to end the multi-year program that allowed several companies to place electric scooters in different parts of the city.
Get South Florida local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC South Florida newsletters.
Vendors were told they have until midnight November 18th to deactivate their scooters and until 5 p.m. Friday November 19th to pick them up, or risk the city impounding them.
Although many transit advocates have seen scooters as an effective micromobility solution for people to travel the last mile between transit stops and their destinations, these scooters have sparked a consistent debate among politicians and residents.
"I’ve conferred with our City Commissioners to address Commissioner (Alex) Diaz de la Portilla’s well-placed apprehensions over the existing pilot program and as with every decision we make, solutions are not exempt from their own tradeoffs—we cannot sacrifice the safety of our residents for the sake of mobility," Suarez said.
Critics consider the scooters dangerous to vehicular traffic that create too many opportunities for accidents with vehicles and pedestrians.
"Being a Miami that works for everyone means being a Miami where residents have access to not just effective transportation but also safe transportation," Suarez said.