FYI Miami: January 21, 2021
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
SCOOTER SCORECARD: Scooter companies operating in Miami will be under the added scrutiny of a new community reporting system by Miami Riders Alliance, a local mobility advocacy group. The scorecard “will publicly hold operators accountable for following the city’s rules and seeks to promote more responsible operations among some previous bad actors with this scoring system,” the group said on its website Jan. 14, adding that it would “work hand in hand with the City of Miami to audit scooter operators and their performance.” Miami has halted electric scooter operations several times in response to complaints and instances of their cluttered deployment, obstruction of rights-of-way and underage riding. Most recently, City Manager Art Noriega suspended the pilot scooter program to address issues, including a 25% fleet reduction. The program recommenced Jan. 15. Users can rate how well companies comply with city rules and report scooter crowding, speed limit violations, fallen scooters and underage riding at mobile.riders.miami/reporting.html or by calling the Miami Parking Authority at (305) 579-4900.
RIDERS KEEP EXITING: Miami-Dade’s beleaguered transit system slightly slowed its year-to-year plunge in ridership in November, which saw a drop of 44.4% in total passengers from November 2019, new figures show, versus a 45.1% drop in October. Rides on the system in November totaled 3,672,591 in 2020, but 6,610,671 in a year earlier before the coronavirus hit. But in November 2016, the system had 7,894,500 total ridership. Bus use in November was down 36.8% year over year, Metrorail use was down 52.4%, and use of the free Metromover was down 70.9%.
OUTDOOR DINING EXTENDED: While Miami city commissioners recently approved an extension for the temporary outdoor dining program that was established to help struggling businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, they also asked the administration to analyze how the café permit program is doing. Commissioners asked staff what might be the effect of extending the program in perpetuity insofar as losing revenue from parking spaces that are currently in use for the program.
TELEHEALTH PRESCRIPTIONS: Amid expanded use of telehealth during the Covid-19 pandemic, Rep. Tom Fabricio of Miramar has filed a bill that would eliminate restrictions on prescribing controlled substances through telehealth. Under current law, telehealth can be used to prescribe controlled substances only in limited circumstances, such as for treatment of psychiatric disorders, for treatment of hospice patients and for treatment of nursing-home residents. The bill would eliminate the restrictions.