FYI Miami: September 19, 2019
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SCOOTER PILOT POWERS ON: A first vote on a new scooter program passed in the Miami City Commission, with commissioners voting as they did for the pilot’s first iteration. Manolo Reyes and Joe Carollo once again cited safety concerns as they voted against the legislation. Keon Hardemon raised questions about whether the program could be more lucrative, with vendors currently paying a $1 per scooter per day. He also asked about the ancillary motorized bicycle program that was added to the legislation, with Ken Russell saying he would be willing to scrap it if the commission prefers. At a final vote, the commission is expected to go into further detail on the program.
NO MELREESE LEASING CONTRACT: Though a contract was expected to be brought to the Miami City Commission on Sept. 12 for the long-term lease of Melreese Golf Course, it wasn’t. Mayor Francis Suarez said that getting a proposed contract to the commission in time was impossible because the commission had demanded input on the selection of the attorneys and for those attorneys to then select independent consultants. He said that delayed the process. Manolo Reyes, the commission’s staunchest opponent of the proposed Miami Freedom Park development at Melreese, said he would like to vote on the item before the November election. Outgoing Commissioner Wilfredo “”Willy” Gort said he would like to vote before he leaves.
METROMOVER MOVES UP: Metromover ridership in June rose 9.3% from June 2018, latest county Transportation and Public Works figures show – the largest monthly ridership gain for the downtown transit mode in more than three years. It was also the third consecutive month of rider gains of more than 5% for Metromover, which was down 7% in 2018 and 8.3% in 2017. Other transit modes, however, kept sliding, with Metrorail down 10.8% from June 2018 and Metrobus down 4.6%. Bus use was down 10.8% throughout 2018 and 11% in 2017, while Metrorail was down 4.2% for all of 2018 and 6.9% in 2017. Metrorail carries more than twice as many riders as Metromover; buses carry almost six times Metromover’s load.
MARINAS REMAIN IN LIMBO: The future of the city’s Key Biscayne marinas remains in limbo with the Miami City Commission indefinitely deferring two related items. One of the resolutions would add a referendum to the November ballot asking voters to approve or disapprove of the property lease to Virginia Key LLC. The city administration, however, is still exploring the possibility of having the city manage the marinas instead.