The City of Pitt Meadows has approved a three-month pilot project for Segway tours on its dikes.
Wild Glide B.C. is the only company in Metro Vancouver to offer guided tours on the two-wheeled electric vehicles and plans to begin showing tourists the city’s unique waterfront in the first week of July.
“We’ve been trying to get into Pitt Meadows for a while,” said Neila Scott, who owns the Maple Ridge-based tour company with her husband Chuck.
The company already offers tours in North Vancouver’s Lower Seymour Reservoir and along Ladner’s Roberts Bank.
Although Segway tours are popular across major cities in Europe and the United States, the vehicles are banned from roads and sidewalks in B.C.
“So we found places where they are welcome – trails and dikes,” said Scott, who brought a Segway to council’s committee meeting last week to convince politicians to endorse the pilot project.
Scott added that Segways are really easy to learn to operate, and tour participants are trained on how to “glide” before they set out.
Scott compares the experience to riding one of those conveyer belts they have at the airport, or riding a horse.
“A bicycle will fall over if you stop balancing. But not a Segway, like a horse it balances all by itself,” said Scott.
“It’s extremely safe and more controllable than a bicycle.”
The Segway trips offered by Wild Glide are so popular that the company sold more than 1,000 Groupons for its Stave Lake tour, which wrapped up last week.
“It’s a unique experience,” said Scott, adding that the vehicles are perfect for nature lovers because they are so quiet. The company has five Segways.
Pitt Meadows Economic Development Corporation will report back to council once the three-month pilot is complete.
The city will waive its bylaw that prohibits Segways on its dikes for the duration of the pilot project and Wild Glide B.C. will have to carry additional insurance.
“I think this is an interesting proposal but we have to remember that the dikes are multi-use and somethings do not mix together, and that’s motorized vehicles… with very excitable horses and dogs that are off leash,” said Coun. Janis Elkerton.
“So I think this is a compromise … to at least give it a chance. We’ll wait and see how this works out.”