Over the years in this industry, the staff over here at Boston Segway Tours would like to take the time to
cover some points of interest that have been brought up and more often than not, misunderstood. This segment is to help properly educate people on the Segway PT and the Segway Tourism Indusry, specifically in Boston, MA.
Segway Inc. is a company founded by Dean Kamen. He first invented the Segway HT (Human Transporter), which was released in 2001. This would later be replaced by the revolutionary “Second Generation” Segway PT (Personal Transporter), which had break-through LeanSteer technology and came in two different models (Segway i2 and Segway x2).
In 2014, The “Third Generation” was released. The Segway i2 SE (ideal for city and indoor terrain), which is what you see to your left. And the Segway x2 (more ideal for off-road terrain), which is what you see below to your right.
People ask us all the time if the
inventor of the Segway died on a Segway. No, Dean Kamen is very much alive. Segway Inc. had been sold to and at the time owned by Jimi Heseldon, who was the one that
ended up tragically driving his Segway x2 over a cliff. We
have heard so many different scenarios of how this
happened, but to this day we are not sure if anyone truly
knows. Also, to our knowledge this is the only person
who has ever died on a Segway.
Another common misunderstanding we come across very often is the actual name. There is no product that exists that is called a “Segway”. Segway is the company name. The Segway PT is a product line which has the “i2 SE”and the “x2 SE” along with a new product called the “SE3”.
Another thing that is very commonly misunderstood is the relationship between the recent (and short lived) craze over the “self-balancing electric scooter”, or in other words “Hoverboard”. There is none. Many even made the common mistake of calling them “Mini-Segways” which is wrong on so many counts. Segway Inc. has nothing to do with those products.
A brand new i2 SE retails at about $6,400.00 and is assembled in New Hampshire, right here in the U.S. While “Hoverboards” are made in China and last we saw in May of 2016, they retailed at $199.00. They are two completely different products manufactured by very different companies. As we cannot speak for the “Hoverboards”. We can certainly tell you that Segway products are built with integrity and cutting-edge technology, always concious of our enviroment and focusing very closely on safety.
Segway Tours in Boston
Segway Tours in Boston
Segway Tours in Boston
Ian Meyer here, owner and operator of Boston Segway Tours. I feel for so many reasons, as I approach my 7th year working in the Segway Tourism Industry of Boston, that there have been some things often misunderstood. And I have realized, most people have simply not been educated or updated on this particular issue.
Along with that, even more, due to recent events... I have felt more compelled than ever to say a few words to clear the air.
First and foremost, we are Boston Segway Tours (“BST”), not any of the other Segway Tour companies you may have heard of in the past. I myself did work for one of them, yes. But I can assure you that “BST” is an entity of its own and has no affiliation with any of the previous companies that have operated in Boston.
“BST” started off just last year. Our first full season operated at 364 Boylston Street in the Back Bay area of Boston, over the course of spring/summer/fall in 2015. It has been bittersweet seeing as yes, when we came into this industry in Boston, a presence had been established for Segway Tourism - but on the flipside - the relationship between Segway Tourism in Boston and the local community had been seriously damaged.
To this day, we have had to take on the task of rebuliding this relationship. I know for a fact that we have made a lot of progress, which I am extremely proud of. I also know we still have a lot of work ahead of us before we break free from the dark shadow the previous companies still cast over ours. It is a daily part of what we do here at “BST” - and my team and I, we are all aware of what the task is at hand and are working hard to reach this goal. To turn around the Segway Tourism Industry in Boston and change it for the better.
As a guest, I have taken Segway tours all over the country, and every single place I have done one at - the community responds to the Segway PT in a very positive way. I love it! And for those of you who are reading this, and are local. You know for one reason or another, why sometimes this is not the case in Boston.
Don't get me wrong, I have had people cheer us on, giving us high-fives as we run tours in the streets of Boston. It's amazing, so cool. But I have also encountered negative feedback that I have never seen anywhere else. My team and I at “BST” are genuinely set out to change that! Being on the front lines, both on tour myself or engaging individuals as owner of this company, when I come across someone with negative feedback I can't help but to respectfully ask them one question:
“Have you ever been on a Segway tour before?”
...and the answer is always, “No.”
People love Segway Tours! And I feel very fortunate to be a part of this industry, especially in an amazing city such as Boston. My team and I are blessed enough to earn a living by meeting awesome people who travel from all over the world, living all walks of life. Having the chance to showcase and teach them about this beautiful, very historical city while bringing smiles to their faces and great memories they will be able to cherish forever.
I encourage you to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I am always open to listen, and perticularly excited to have the opportunity to show you what we are doing to improve the Segway Tourism Industry in Boston.
Now, I would like to take a moment to bring awareness to certain topics and points of interest that I found often to be misunderstood or unclear in the local community and visitors of Boston alike.
Neither the Segway PT, nor the operation of Segway tours in Boston,
are banned or illegal.
Personal use of a Segway PT is completely legal. In fact, I have seen (and when so, dropped evertything I was doing to make a point to meet them) a few of the locals we have in the city who own a Segway PT for personal use. Some use them for it's original purpose, which is to offer individuals who have difficulty walking (but can still stand) an alternative to using a wheelchair. Others use them as an eco-friendly alternative to commuting around the city.
Operating a Segway tour in Boston is also legal, but much more regulated than an individual riding for personal use, as a Segway Tour Operator must meet certain requirements and follow rules that are issued and enforced by the City.
What makes us a legitimate and legal Tour Operator.
We have business insurance specific to our industry and location.
We are licensed and permitted by the city to conduct tours in Boston.
Our Tour Guides are also licensed by the city to operate tours in Boston.
Other achievements and credentials...
Owner is trained and certified in a safety training course with Segway, Inc. .
Our Facebook page has been verified as the official Boston Segway Tours.
Our business location is verified on Google Maps.
We are an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau of Mass.
We are a member of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.
We are a member of Newbury Street League.
We are a member of International Concierge Associates.
We have been awarded a “Certificate of Excellence” in Boston on Trip Advisor.
We have been awarded the "Travelers Choice Award" by TripAdvisor, putting us in the top 10% attractions around the world.
Over 1,579 Five-Star reviews on Trip Advisor. Even more elsewhere.
Our payment processor is Norton secured using Symantec SSL.
Segway tours are in fact allowed to ride on the streets.
Some folks are under the impression that we cannot ride on the street and try to tell us to ride on the sidewalk. They must not realize that city ordinance instructs the opposite. From what I understand, years ago in the beginning of Segway Tourism in this city, some tours were conducted on the sidewalks. I was not yet around during that period so cannot speak from personal experience but what I've learned was over time it was concluded that it is safer to conduct tours on the streets.
You will not see a tour going full stride down a sidewalk, stretching an entire city block. But in some scenarios, you may find a guide temporarily lead a group onto the sidewalk to stage them in a safer position, out of the way of heavy traffic while waiting for their turn to safely migrate a group through an intersection. If you ever witness a Tour Guide blatantly abuse the sidewalk I urge you to please reach out to me and notify me if at all possible. I would appreciate it.
Segway tours are for lazy people..?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Believe it or not, people are not shy to share this opinion with us. More than a few times in the past I have had strangers tell me this while conducting tours. Most times ironically, while they sat at the street light in their car. People use many types of transportation requiring little to no physical effort (while riding a Segway PT really works your feet, legs, and lower back muscles) so this particular opinion some may choose to believe, is one I feel to be very misunderstood.
Brings me back to that question... “Well, have you ever done a Segway tour?” .
If anything, misinterpreted. I feel riders are thinking more abot the experience, the thrill of riding a Segway PT. And also, people want to make the most of their time (usually in efforts to do as much as possible during their visit) and in any city you go to, Segway Tours let you see so much in such a short amount of time. Take a look at this review we just received on Trip Advisor.
And this was all in a one hour tour! It is pretty impressive. Let's not forget most of these riders you see are on vacation or even from Boston looking for a different experience! It's so important to keep in mind that tourism is a booming industry in Boston and plays a very significant role in our economy. Providing many jobs, circulating a lot of money into our city, all while keeping some of our Nation's most defininitive history alive and fresh in the minds of older and younger generations alike.
This is a work in progress, so please return at a later time. More to come soon!