Segway company still interested in offering tours in Windsor

Ashley Thompson
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PC bill could pave way for tours of town

There’s still a chance Segway scooter tours will be offered in the Little Town of Big Firsts. Pictured is Segway Nova Scotia owner Max Rastelli. (Submitted photo)

A Progressive Conservative MLA is pushing to have Segway use allowed on streets and sidewalks in Nova Scotia after current legislation squashed a company’s attempt to offer Segway tours in Windsor last summer.

MLA Allan MacMaster, the transportation critic for the PC party, tabled a bill earlier this month.

“Segways could open economic development opportunities in our cities and communities, and they're not much different from other motorized vehicles that are currently used [on] our roads and sidewalks,” said MacMaster in a press release issued by the provincial PC Caucus Nov. 19. “They're eco-friendly, emission-free vehicles that could also be used as a unique way to sightsee and take in tourist attractions in Nova Scotia.”

Segway scooters are battery-powered devices that can be programmed to travel up to 20 km/h.

Segway Nova Scotia owner Max Rastelli approached the provincial opposition parties after learning the devices must become classified within the Motor Vehicle Act before he can carry through with plans to offer Segway tours on publicly owned streets and sidewalks in historic destinations within Nova Scotia.

Rastelli and his partner, Romi Foley, planned to host regular Segway tours throughout the Town of Windsor last summer.

“We were prepared to hire people and none of that materialized because the foundation wasn’t there for us to get some of these tours going,” Rastelli said in a brief phone interview.

He is encouraged by the opposition’s interest in amending the Motor Vehicle Act to legalize the use of electronic personal assistive mobility devices on public streets and sidewalks.

“Hopefully it will light a fire under somebody and we will get something in this fall sitting of the legislature that could help us do something in the spring.”

Rastelli says paving the way for Segway tours in Nova Scotia will create jobs in an exciting industry.

“I’m sure once the foundation is set other companies will want to take a look.”

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Maurice Smith said the government is looking to other provinces to learn how Segway use is regulated in other areas of Canada.

 “Unlike the legislation being proposed, we are carefully examining the right options. We need to give thoughtful consideration to the impacts on safety of all road users including the Segway operators, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians,” Smith wrote in an email to the Hants Journal.

 

Organizations: Segway, PC Caucus, Hants Journal

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Windsor, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Flipx
    February 18, 2013 - 19:29

    Funny that you can get a kit to make a Segway into a wheelchair and that would not be contested but stand up on one and it all goes in to the toilet. Where did common sense go people? Are like the riders are going to terrorize the province... lock up your women its the segway gang? Maybe all levels of government step back and let people that are willing to start businesses start them and if they fail they fail. Once again stupidity rules and a fat cat makes him / her and his / her job out to be more important than it really is.

  • Segway Nova Scotia
    November 30, 2012 - 00:09

    We have been informed that the New Brunswick Department of Transportation considers Segway PTs legal on N.B. streets and sidewalks. Their position is, that since Segway PTs are not illegal, then they are permitted as pedestrian assistance devices, similar to electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters. With this forward-thinking position, N.B. is poised to realize economic development and tourism benefits, while other provinces lag behind in multi-year studies and bureaucratic red tape. We are also perplexed that this Minister is looking to, and waiting for a 7-year pilot project that Ontario finds itself in. It is beyond me as to why you need a 7-year trial. Obviously there is something wrong with the parameters of that pilot project. I would argue that the two year study and report already completed for Transport Canada (not to mention countless other studies already done) would and should allow The Government of Nova Scotia to immediately pass legislation regarding Segway PTs.