Chris Morland, Director of School Success at the Institute of Sport & Adventure at Otago Polytechnic has begun commuting to meetings around campus on a new Segway i2.
“We’ve got a very spread out campus. My office at the Institute of Sport is located many hundreds of meters from the main campus, and the same distance from the Dunedin stadium. I have a number of meetings every day spread around these three locations, and I quickly calculated that I was losing about half a day per week of productive time getting between them all. Mostly, I have been walking, but is just too slow because the distances are vast.”
“The Segway Personal Transporter (PT) came to mind as the obvious solution because it is the only device that enables me to travel the full length of each journey without dismounting – from indoors, to outdoors, in all weather – all the way from one office in one part of the campus to another office elsewhere.”
Located right next to Otago University, the Polytechnic is part of the busy fabric of downtown Dunedin. “Using a car to get between the buildings is hopeless because parking is at a premium – there is never anywhere to park at the destination, and then there is still a walk to do. And then when you drive back, your original park is taken, so you spend ages driving in circles looking for a new one. Also, as an institution we’re very conscious of our carbon footprint and are always working to reduce it.”
In New Zealand, most of our electricity is generated from renewable sources. Not only is the Segway PT itself zero-emission, but the source of its recharging is close to zero-emission also (especially if it is recharged using a timer in the evening, when almost 100% of power comes from hydro-electric generation).
Chris recognises the possible irony of a senior member of the Sports Institute using an electric vehicle to get around, but says an injury makes it impossible for him to jog or run at all. Using a bicycle isn’t practical either. “Bikes are not permitted to take the direct route across Logan Park because their narrow tyres damage the turf. Nor can a bike be taken indoors and down corridors, and in any case they are not compatible with moving in, around and amongst people in tight pedestrian environments. Mobility scooters are slow and boring, and a golf cart has the same parking problems as a car. The Segway PT is in a class of its own, really.”