Miami Orders E-Scooters Off Roads Before Hurricane To Avoid "Scooternado"

Pablo Tucker
September 1, 2019

Like many major metropolitan areas across the country, top destinations including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa are littered with rentable electric scooters from companies such as Bird, Lime, Bolt, Jump, Spin and Lyft.

The National Hurricane Centre said Friday local time that Dorian has increased the risk of "devastating hurricane-force winds" along parts of Florida's east coast, adding that the storm will remain an extremely unsafe major hurricane while it moves near the northwestern Bahamas and approaches the Florida peninsula into early next week.

The city has told all rental services to get their conveyances off the streets by Friday lest they fly perilously through the air when Dorian reaches land over the Labor Day weekend, according to Ken Russell, a municipal commissioner. The company is collecting them and putting them in storage until the storm passes.

The dockless scooters are heavy enough to become deadly objects and light enough to be thrown about by intense winds. The Miami-based National Hurricane Center describes Category 4 storms as capable of causing "catastrophic damage" including severe damage to well-built homes. JUMP scooters, that are owned by the ride-sharing firm Uber, has eliminated 250 scooters from Miami and 300 from Tampa.

The prospect of 130 miles per hour winds pose a new challenge for scooter management.

"We have temporarily paused all scooter operations in Miami and securely stored the scooters ahead of Hurricane Dorian, per City requirements". Uber said that Jump scooters will be removed by noon Friday and that it will monitor other Florida cities where Jump is available. The scooter companies said they were cooperating with the city's order. Orlando wants all bikes removed by Sunday. Lime, meanwhile, said in a statement that it is pulling its fleets in Miami as well as in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale ahead of the storm, as well as reducing its fleet in Tampa.

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