A Fun and Accessible Way to Tour the City All While Making the Environment Greener
Most know bicycling and walking are two alternative ways to get from here to there, but what about the future of eco-friendly transportation known as the Segway?
Segways are not only used for traveling, but the new way for sightseeing. Segway of Boston provides tours and rentals for people wanting to travel the city in a fun and eco-friendly way.
“A Segway tour is easier and better than driving, less cumbersome and you can get around faster and see more,” Sage Carbone, a Segway of Boston tour guide said.
MaryBeth Alosa, owner of Segway of Boston, first became a Segway dealer in 2003 when she opened her store in Concord, N.H. Since 2005, she had her eye on Boston and decided to take the risk of opening another store.
“When I first started thinking about the Segway business, my father thought it might be the future of transportation and seemed worth a gamble,” Alosa said.
Segway of Boston is located in Cambridge, Mass., near Kendall Square. Ironically, it is in the Genzyme Center building, “one of the most environmentally responsible office buildings ever built in the United States,” its website says.
Alosa officially opened Segway of Boston in June of 2009, but strictly as a retail dealer authorized in parts, sales and services. In June of 2010, the tour and rental part opened.
“Even though we have only been open for a couple months, there has been an incredible response,” Alosa said.
Before embarking on their tour, individuals partake in a 30-minute training session where they ride around and become familiar with the Segway.
Four official tours are offered providing adventures throughout Cambridge and Boston, stopping to see Kenmore Square, Fenway Park and the Emerald Necklace. Individuals can also glide to explore Charlestown, the Boston Harbor and the Public Garden.
“Whether someone uses it for commuting or keeping it at your second home, I don’t think you can beat the greenness of the product,” Alosa said.
Segways are a great eco-friendly vehicle with a mission “to give customers a green, personal transportation experience that transform the way people work, play and live,” the official Segway site states.
Driving a Segway is a simple and quick way to run to the store or bank. Using it for shorter distances can make quite a difference.
“They’re economical, run on electricity, don’t take long to charge and there is no smoke or exhaust when you’re driving it,” Lisa March, Segway of Boston customer, said.
Segway of Boston Tour Manager, Evan O’Brien noted, “Segways are great to get around, their small, mobile, quick and cover great distances [and] run on as much electricity as a toaster oven.”
The EPA has reported Americans take 900 million car rides every day. Segway states “half of these trips are less than five miles long and done by solo drivers.”
Segway explains that if 10 percent of these 900 million three-mile car trips were replaced with a Segway, 6.2 million fewer gallons of gas would be consumed, along with 286 million fewer pounds of carbon dioxide emitted every day.
March further noted, “Obviously, green tourism is important because it can save our planet and do good things for our kids.”
A Segway benefits the environment in several ways, such as it gives off zero emissions, provides less congestion and is more energy efficient.
Matt Ward, a Segway of Boston customer, said Segways are a good way to help the environment.
“They use electric and first of all you can see so much more on a Segway, versus a walking tour,” Ward said. “From a green standpoint it is the [greenest] option [and] I don’t know if there are any other options, besides bikes, but that’s a lot more work.”
O’Brien emphasized, people need to have more of an open mind and the more people that use Segways, the better.
“[People] instantly look and laugh or get angry and don’t understand it,” he said. “People think they don’t belong on sidewalks or streets.”
Ward does not use alternative forms of transportation, as it is not practical for him.
“I would use a Segway, but if it was practical for me,” he said. “I live in suburbia, so it’s not practical.”
“If it wasn’t a problem to take a Segway on the train or T it would be totally practical, especially since it’s accessible and easy to use,” he said. Furthermore, “I think a Segway is a good investment, especially if I don’t have to pay for parking in Boston.”
Segway of Boston is the only authorized Segway tour provider and dealer in Massachusetts. It is one of Segway’s largest stocking dealers as it has 20 tour fleet models and 45 for sale.
“At this time it really won’t be the future or change transportation because of the price, which is a shame because it is a no emission way to travel and is quiet,” Alosa said. “The product has been out for 10 years, but it still has a novelty factor and people still have never been on one, so tours and rentals are a great way to get people exposed.”