E-Scooters Back in Fort Lauderdale as Miami Pilot Program in Limbo

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After a nearly two year hiatus, scooters will be coming back to Fort Lauderdale, likely by spring, Mayor Dean Trantalis told the Sun-Sentinel. 

“The city will soon be courting scooter rental companies, allowing them to apply for a permit,” Mayor Trantalis said.

While advocates say the scooters make it easier to get around, there have been safety concerns. Back in 2019, 27-year-old Ashanti Jordan suffered a traumatic brain injury after colliding with a car while riding a scooter in Fort Lauderdale. 

The program was put on pause in 2020 due to concerns over potential spread of COVID. 

Mayor Trantlis told the Sun-Sentinel that when scooters come back, they’ll be required to use the bike lane or sidewalk, speed will be capped at 12 mph, and there will be designated parking areas. Busy areas like Las Olas, the beach and Riverwalk will be off limits. 

Fort Lauderdale’s announcement comes as the Miami City Commission just voted to eliminate a pilot program for electric scooters. 

“They do provide a benefit but the concern is where is the safety implementation, the parking corals and protected bike lanes because that is the major concern,” James Torres, President of the Miami Downtown Neighbors Alliance said.

The pilot program allowed scooters in District 2 which encompasses Downtown, Brickell and Edgewater.

“Anywhere else city-wide, they’re not allowed, ” Torres said. “Our Downtown Miami residents have had enough with this issue particularly with the safety and education piece. The issue is no more scooters until there’s an implementation of safety measures.”

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has touted micro-mobility, has called for a special commission meeting on Monday to discuss restarting the scooter program. 

“It’s surprising the mayor wants to have this conversation and I hope it’s the will of the people that is overcome by this that they’re not allowed back until there’s a viable solution,” Torres said.

The special meeting in the City of Miami will be held Monday at 9:30 a.m., meanwhile in Fort Lauderdale, it will still be at least a few months before they’re back on the streets.

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