Well, it’s been 2 years of lobbying, meetings and proposals, but we finally have a Segway Pilot Project approved for Nova Scotia!
I think Nova Scotia’s TIR staff got it right. They managed to put together regulations that are flexible enough to allow a good mix of participants, but at the same time maintain a level of control that has safety as the top priority.
As a Segway Tour Operator in Nova Scotia, we are obviously pleased. This allows us to expand our tours beyond the Halifax Waterfront, and give people the opportunity to see more of Halifax in a safe, fun and unique way. It also presents new tourism opportunities for other businesses and potential tour operators right across Nova Scotia.
Our application to enter the pilot project has been submitted, and we now wait for approval (a little more red tape…). I know there are sceptics and opponents out there. I know some pedestrians will challenge the notion that Segways are “pedestrians” when on sidewalks; and I know some cyclists/drivers will argue we should not be in the bike lanes and/or on roadways – and be classified as “cyclists” when Segways go there. I hope people will give this pilot project a chance. It is a pilot project. By it’s very nature, it is intended to create awareness, gather data and feedback for TIR, and ultimately help create permanent legislation for a new, eco-friendly form of transportation. Segway PTs are nothing new. They have been around for 12 years. Much of the rest of the world has already studied them ad nauseum and there is existing legislation all over the world. Nova Scotia is doing it’s due diligence, and we respect that.
In fact, Nova Scotia has now taken the lead in Canada, with respect to Segways. Yes, Alberta and Ontario are years into discussions and pilot projects, but Nova Scotia has formally introduced legislation and now the “Segway Pilot Project Regulations”. I believe Nova Scotia and these regulations will serve as a model for other provinces to consider new, innovative, alternative modes of transportation going forward.