With fuel prices increasing at a rapid pace, consumers are increasingly looking for more economical ways to get around. And as Miami gears up for Miami tech week/month, avoiding gridlock will be more important than ever.
It is against this backdrop that Miami-Dade County has launched its first scooter pilot program, starting with bringing service to the Greater Dadeland area. The several square mile radius encapsulating the pilot program features two metrorail stations, as well as the 535,000 square foot Dadeland Mall, which attracts 18 million visitors annually. Miami-Dade County has not yet announced how long the pilot will last.
Refresh Miami has reported on the electric scooter situation in South Florida over the last few months, with a particular focus on the highly charged battle being waged in the City of Miami. Currently, Helbiz is the only micromobility provider in the city. The company is also one of two providers in the new pilot program in Dadeland.
“We’re excited to see the expansion in South Florida,” Helbiz’s Miami-based Head of Partnerships and Policy, Vivian Myrtetus, told Refresh Miami. “It aligns with the expansion we’ve generally seen in the area.” The company has been active in Miami since 2019. On top of Dadeland and the City of Miami, Helbiz is also available in Miami Lakes, 15 other markets in the US, and more than 40 overseas.
Earlier this year, Helbiz rolled out a feature requiring users to wear a helmet before hopping on a scooter. The company verifies compliance by using AI to check a helmet selfie taken by the rider. According to Myrtetus, as of January about 60% of rides failed to start because a rider was not wearing a helmet. The Miami’s City Commission, the municipal organ overseeing the city’s scooter pilot program, has signaled that safety is a top concern when it comes to micromobility.
Myrtetus praised Miami-Dade County’s government officials for helping get the program rolling, especially Commissioner Raquel Regalado, who oversees the district in Dadeland where the pilot is taking place.
“The pilot has been really well received,” reported Myrtetus. She said that Helbiz has seen hundreds of trips already, just in the first week.
“From my perspective, it already has been successful in terms of the ridership, which has been high. We’re seeing folks use it to connect to other forms of transportation,” she said. “So I think it’s really a matter of seeing how people can use it, and finding that it’s a way to remove cars and traffic from our roadways.”
READ MORE ON REFRESH MIAMI:
- Hopping on a Helbiz e-scooter? Snap a helmet selfie first – it’s for safety
- Micromobility provider Wheels rolls out expanded coverage in Miami-Dade
- Miami’s menu of mobility modes multiplies. How can tech-enabled transport support our growing region?
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