At its meeting Tuesday, the Coral Gables City Commission approved asking county commissioners to advance legislation that regulates Uber and Lyft, voted to reduce valet parking rates on Miracle Mile and voted to encourage residents and businesses to phase out Styrofoam items.
The main item
Coral Gables commissioners are supportive of ride-for-hire services and are urging the Miami-Dade County Commission to take action.
The commission approved a resolution promoting the services in the city and asked the county to regulate and allow Uber and Lyft to operate legally. Commissioner Patricia Keon sponsored the item, citing Broward County’s recent decision to allow transportation network companies, including traditional taxi cabs, to self-regulate.
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“I think it’s a good thing to promote some of these innovative means of doing business, and that’s hoping they are regulated to the point that we can ensure public safety,” Keon said.
City Attorney Craig Leen said he will also explore what flexibility the city has if it chooses to not assist the county with enforcement. Drivers for services like Uber and Lyft are subject to citations.
“Because of the lack of the county’s action here, there is room for the city to take action on a remedial basis with regards to the specific concerns we’re expressing,” Leen said.
Commissioners said the county will ultimately have to address Uber, Lyft and other cellphone-based ride options. They also pointed out the services are widely used by University of Miami students and increased use could help alleviate traffic and parking issues on corridors like Miracle Mile. The resolution also supports background checks for drivers.
“It’s a reality, lots of people use it, it helps the taxi services get out there and be competitive,’’ Mayor Jim Cason said.
Miracle Mile valet: Beginning Nov. 1, valet users on Miracle Mile will pay a little less.
The City Commission voted to reduce the cost of valet parking from $8 to $5 per vehicle to offset potentially closed parking areas during the Mile’s streetscape improvement construction. The city hopes the reduction will orient drivers by the time construction begins next January.
The city also agreed to waive ramping and storage fees for the city’s valet operator. The company has five parking ramps on the mile and 19 parking spaces. Cars are stored in parking garages on Aragon Avenue.
Styrofoam ban: Products using polystyrene, best known by the brand name Styrofoam, may soon be banned in Coral Gables.
Commissioners approved an item encouraging residents and businesses to phase out use of the products in the city.
Commissioner Vince Lago sponsored the item, noting the city should join municipalities like Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Key Biscayne and other major cities across the country that have limited polystyrene products or eliminated them entirely.
“This is not only about the present; this is truly about the future,” Lago said.
THE NEXT MEETING
When: 9 a.m. Nov. 10.
Where: Coral Gables City Hall, 405 Biltmore Way, Coral Gables.