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Pilot Program Brings Hundreds Of Electric Scooters To Streets, Sidewalks Of Downtown Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Get ready to check and double check your rear and side-view mirrors, as hundreds of electric scooters are hitting our streets.

On Thursday, Miami became the latest city in the nation to give e-scooters the green light.

Six scooter companies are putting 300 scooters on the streets and sidewalks of Commission District 2, which belongs to Commissioner Ken Russel.

District 2 encompasses portions of the City of Miami, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Opa-locka, City of Hialeah and unincorporated areas of Liberty City, Biscayne Gardens and North Dade Central.

"The average ride is a mile of less," said Russell. "People use it to go to lunch a lot, instead of taking a car into the center of downtown or into the Grove. Look on the app, find the scooter, hop on and get where you are going."

While it may look like a kid's scooter, riders must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver's license and a credit card.

The cost is one dollar plus 15-to-25 cents for each minute.

"You put on your helmet, you got your brake, throttle and bell," Russell said. "Kickstand up, and go."

Russell is a big advocate of the transportation alternative. Other commissioners are not as enthused.

That's why the six-month pilot program is limited to Russell's district, which stretches from downtown to Brickell to Coconut Grove and includes Edgewater and Morningside.

Residents have had a mixed reaction to the scooters, with some enjoying the convenience and low cost while others don't feel safe with all the scooters on the road.

Russell says the City of Miami Parking Authority will police the scooters. They can't be abandoned or left laying around, a big problem in other communities.

"[Officers] can city the scooter companies if they find [the scooters] in the wrong place," Russell said. "They can pick them up if they are blocking the sidewalk. They will charge the scooter company $25 every time they get it wrong."

The program is also expected to generate funds for street improvements and new bike lanes in District 2.

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