Miami’s E-Scooter Pilot Program is About to End: Here’s What It Means for Riders
Miami’s electric scooter pilot program is inching closer toward its end, as personal injury attorneys from all across the city are hovering over the e-scooter industry.
The nine scooter companies participating in Miami’s e-scooter pilot program are competing against each other to show the city’s City Commission that they provide excellent rider safety. However, as the popularity of e-scooters has been on the rise in Miami, so has the number of injuries associated with riding electric scooters.
At Least Four Rental Companies Could Be Booted from the Pilot Program
According to a report by the Miami New Times, at least four of the nine e-scooter rental companies participating in the pilot program could be dismissed by the end of the program. Those that qualify to provide scooter rental services in Miami will have to show a solid plan to reduce e-scooter accidents and minimize sidewalk scooter clutter.
Due to the ever-increasing number of reports of e-scooter accidents in Miami and all across the Sunshine State, companies that demonstrate the best safety incentives will be allowed to operate in the city. For example, some have been offering riders discounts for wearing helmets in an attempt to minimize serious injuries.
Where Can You Ride an E-Scooter in Miami?
As of January 2020, e-scooters are only authorized in City Commission District 2, which includes the following neighborhoods:
- Coconut Grove
- Downtown Miami
- Wynwood (east side of N. Miami Avenue and east)
E-scooter riders in Miami are allowed to ride on sidewalks or streets and, where available, use bike paths and bike lanes. There are roughly 4,000 electric scooters in service in Miami.
Does Miami Have E-Scooter Infrastructure?
The city is poised to create an e-scooter infrastructure by improving the existing bike lane infrastructure, which local officials say is outdated, disjointed, and lacking connecting routes. The pilot program helped the city get around $1 million in revenue, which will be used for new bike lane construction and program administration.
When agreeing to participate in the pilot program, each scooter rental company in Miami paid a $50,000 upfront licensing fee. In addition to that, the city collected a $1 fee per scooter per day and imposed a $25 fine each time a city worker has to move the e-scooter abandoned in the middle of the road or far from the designated area.
What Happens If a Scooter Rider Gets Injured?
The number of injuries linked to e-scooters has been proportional to the rising popularity of electric scooters in Florida and nationwide. A recent study showed that e-scooter injuries skyrocketed nearly threefold across the country from 2014 to 2018. Almost 40,000 people were rushed to emergency rooms after falling from their e-scooter or being in an accident during that period.
Although dozens of e-scooter accidents occurred in Miami, none of them were fatal. Under certain circumstances, an injured scooter rider can bring a claim against the rental company, though many are concerned about signing a waiver.
Prior to renting and paying for the e-scooter, riders are required to read the waiver and safety tutorials. But does the waiver mean that the rental scooter company is never liable for injuries? Not necessarily. Speak with a Miami personal injury lawyer to determine whether your claim is valid. Contact Pita Weber Del Prado for a case evaluation. Call at 305-670-2889.