In a Little Haiti warehouse, a good chunk of Miami’s once bustling scooter fleet sits in the dark, its pink wheels collecting dust.
Diego Perelmuter’s job is to tend to the hundreds of scooters Lyft dumped here on March 18, when Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez used emergency powers to order a halt to all bike and scooter rentals as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19.
It was the fifth of 83 emergency orders Gimenez would sign over six months, making scooter rentals one of the first industries to close in Miami-Dade. Unlike restaurants, malls, massage studios, barbershops, hotels, gyms, casinos and tattoo parlors, scooter rentals remain banned in Miami-Dade.
“Miami was one of our best performing markets,” said Perelmuter, an Aventura resident and Lyft’s operations manager for the area. The warehouse used to be be bustling with vans unloading dead scooters needing charges and loading powered ones ready