Board up the house. Fill up sandbags. Gather supplies. Remove electric scooters?
As Hurricane Dorian churns closer to the Bahamas and the Florida’s east coast, cities in the Sunshine State are working to get the dockless scooters off the streets so they won’t turn into dangerous projectiles.
Dorian, currently a Category 3 storm, is forecast to strengthen to a Category 4 before reaching Florida. The National Hurricane Center warns of life-threatening storm surge, heavy rains and devastating hurricane-force winds, capable of picking up and flinging scooters through the air.
According to Ken Russell, a municipal commissioner, Miami has told companies to get the scooters off the street by Friday.
Lyft, which only operates scooters in Miami, said Friday that each of the 244 scooters were picked up by their in-house operations team and will be securely stored in a warehouse.
“The safety of our community is fundamental to Lyft,” Lyft spokesperson Kaitlyn Carl said. “We have temporarily paused all scooter operations in Miami and securely stored the scooters ahead of Hurricane Dorian, per City requirements. We will resume operations only once conditions improve and will continue to follow the guidance provided by the City of Miami.”
Lime, which operates throughout the state, has also started pulling their scooters.
“Lime is pulling our fleets in Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale and reducing our fleet size in Tampa to prepare for Hurricane Dorian,” Lime spokesperson Russell Murphy said. “This amounts to nearly 1,500 scooters and 500 bicycles total. We’re in touch with each city and will comply with any request to prioritize safety. We’re also communicating with our riders to let them know of these steps and to encourage them to follow the guidance of their local authorities and remain safe.”
Likewise, Spin is following similar procedures.
“Spin will not be deploying scooters during the severe weather, and all Spin scooters on the ground will be retrieved well before the storm is expected to arrive,” spokesperson Maria Buczkowski said. “We have communicated deployment changes to all regional operations teams expected to see impact, and we will be activating an in-app modal to inform riders of the service update.”
City of Tampa marketing and communications director Ashley Bauman said, “It’s is up to the operators per the ordinance to remove the scooters 12 hours after a hurricane warning is issued.”
Bolt, Jump, Uber’s scooter company, the city of Miami and the city of Orlando have not yet responded for requests for comment.
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