The city of Miami has revoked the permits of five of its seven electric scooter operators that participate in the city’s pilot program, telling them to cease operations, NBC 6 has learned Thursday.
“We can confirm that the City sent letters to five electric scooter operators — Bird, Bolt, Lime, Lyft and Wheels – on January 18th and 19th, revoking their operating permits for the City’s Motorized Scooter Pilot Program,” Josh Heferman, the assistant director of communications for the city, wrote in a statement.
Helbiz and Spin are now the only remaining options for e-scooter riders in the city of Miami.
This is the second time in less than three months that there’s been a significant pause in e-scooter operations in Miami. Back in November, the city briefly suspended the program altogether due to safety concerns before reinstating it a week later.
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According to the city, permits were revoked for the companies’ failures to address safety requirements.
“Violations included failure to require users to wear a helmet, underage riders and multiple riders on a single scooter," the city said.
The Downtown Neighbors Alliance said in a statement that they were pleased with the city revoking permits called for officials to "continue to demand accountability from the remaining scooter operators."
"It has been the DNA's long-standing position that while micro-mobility solutions are critical to the development of Downtown Miami as an urban hub, all such elements, including scooters, must utilize bike lanes and docking stations, while strictly following rules for the protection of riders and pedestrians alike," the statement read in part.
A Lime spokesperson said in a statement that they were "disappointed" with the decision.
"We've been focused on safety throughout our time in Miami and the scooter pause was ended we've doubled down with a pilot attaching helmets to scooters, hosting helmet giveaway events, using technology like helmet selfies, and marketing techniques like in-app messaging to remind our riders of the new laws. If we are given the opportunity to continue to serve Miami long term we will keep redoubling our investments in safety as well as hiring locally, creating jobs, and supporting the city's tech industry and entire economy," said Bruno Lopes the senior manager of government relations at Lime.
"We're disappointed to not have scooters on the streets right now, especially after we've invested so much labor and resources into working with the City to improve safety and keep the program running," his statement continued. "E-scooter sharing in Miami employs over 150 people and serves tens of thousands of riders, and Lime is ready and willing to work with the City to get back up and running as soon and as safely as possible. We hope they work with us to do so."
This is a developing story. Check back with NBC 6 for updates.