Archive for January, 2014

Fighter planes vs Segways: Tauranga Airshow staff on 7 PTs this weekend

Seven Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) will play a key role in enabling staff to manage the 20,000 people expected at this weekend’s Airshow in Tauranga.

A mixture of i2, x2 and Patroller models will transport staff from Watchdog Security and show volunteers around the event being held at Tauranga Airport and Aero Club. According to Watchdog’s Mat Olssen, “We simply couldn’t run this show without the Segway PTs.”

The Tauranga Airshow is held every two years, and the organisers have been hiring a fleet of Segway PTs for Event Management since its inception. Segway PTs enable key staff to travel quickly, directly and safely throughout the event – even amongst dense pedestrian traffic – as well as patrol the perimeter and respond to unexpected events more rapidly than on foot.

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The 2014 Classics of the Sky Tauranga City Air Show is nearly here with an exciting day planned for the whole family…here are some of the highlights to look forward to:

Expect to see Spitfires, Kittyhawks, Mustangs, and a selection of single seater and dual seater jets … and with 2014 being the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1, aircraft from that vintage will be flying. We have been offered a list to select from which includes a Sopwith Tri-plane, up to 3 Fokker Tri Planes, a Fokker D.VII, a Bristol Fighter, a Phalz D.II, a Sopwith Camel and a Nieuport II (all subject to availability and suitable weather conditions).

The Royal New Zealand Air Force will be here, so too the Sports Aviation Association who will provide a fascinating display of the more unusual and also aerobatic aircraft together with a large static display. Other surprises are also in the pipeline including the car versus plane speed race which has captivated audiences at previous shows – but this time we’re going to introduce a new spectacular twist!

Military re-enactors also promise to create a fantastic spectacle giving rise to a crescendo of activity before the day is out.

Rides in all types of aircraft will be available before, during and after the show – including warbird fighters, sports machines and helicopters, so be sure to book your favourite plane for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

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Magic Broomstick Segway Tours increases PT fleet

Devonport’s world-famous Magic Broomstick Segway Tours has boosted it’s fleet to seven Segway Personal Transporters (PTs).

This summer season is proving the busiest yet in the company’s near-six year history of operating at one of the most picturesque locations in Auckland. The nautical township is built around three extinct volcanos, and tour routes can include a visit to abandoned military tunnels and gun emplacements, views of the NZ Navy base, and a ride to the top of Mount Victoria where the Disappearing Gun resides and from where the best 360-degree views of the city can be enjoyed.

Segway Tours have been part of the New Zealand tourism sector since 2006, when Kevin Hey launched Segway on Q in Queenstown and BodyElectric got underway along the waterfront in Wellington. Today there are also Segway Tours operating in Lake Tekapo, Nelson, Rotorua and Whangarei.

Photo from The Courier Mail newspaper, Brisbane, Australia.

Photo from The Courier Mail newspaper, Brisbane, Australia.

Over in Australia, Segway Tours along footpaths have begun just recently, but Brisbane already has its sights set on becoming famous for its Segway Tours, according to The Courier Mail:

FORGET the Windy City or the Big Apple – Brisbane could soon be known as the Segway City, with more than 700 people rolling up for rides every month.

And the bizarre two-wheeled machines could be the shot of adrenalin that revitalises Brisbane’s tourism industry.

Kangaroo Point centre Riverlife, which offers Segway tours in Brisbane, has sold more than 3000 online vouchers for Segwy tours since the machines were legalised for footpath and bikeway use in Queensland on August 1 last year – the first state to give them a green light.

And almost 1000 people have booked Segway tours after walking in to the Kangaroo Point centre.

Riverlife owner John Sharpe said Segway rides appealed to people who’d “tried most other activities”.

“They’re looking for something new,” he said.

Mr Sharpe said Segway vouchers were a huge stocking filler Christmas present last month and it was a “real, add-on boost to our business”.

But despite public concerns over collisions, Mr Sharpe said his tours were relatively incident-free.

“A lot of people said we’d be running into bikes and people would be falling off Segways, but that really hasn’t happened,” he said.

“That’s because of the time teaching people how to use them. They’re easier to ride than bikes or rollerblades or anything like that.”

Mr Sharpe a couple of people had fallen off Segways and received a “sore arm”, but there’d been no serious injuries.

Premier Campbell Newman said Queensland’s tourism industry had boomed over the past two months.

“And if you don’t believe me, ask John Sharpe here from Riverlife, who has seen a good increase in his business – the best Christmas period he’s ever had,” Mr Newman said

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Segway staring in something big today

Today we hired a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) to star in an advertisement for one of New Zealand’s largest companies.

Yes, all the details are secret.

No, we’re not going to tell you anything about it.

We’ll post a video link here on Segway New Zealand News as soon as it is released….

 

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Canadian police order more Segway Patrollers for officers

Edmonton Police (Alberta, Canada) say Segway usage in the city has been so successful, they are looking to add more to city streets.

“It’s an amazing tool that at first you might not realize its potential until you get on it,” said Sgt. Phillip Cutting with EPS.

Police officers on patrol in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Police officers on patrol in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

“I’ve yet to have a police car beat me to a call,” said Sgt. Maurice Brodeur, who is part of the Whyte Avenue police beat with EPS. “This thing is phenomenal. I can go anywhere with this thing.”

The Segway i2 Patroller model can travel 35 kilometres on just 25 cents of electricity, making for a very efficient mode of transportation for city officers. EPS are hoping to add the machines to other parts of the city to help with policing efforts, and other provincial policing divisions have inquired about the machines.

In July, 2011 we reported on the first the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to swap four legs for two wheels in the city of Red Deer, Alberta. In that tow, the first deployment of Mounties on PTs instead of steeds selected the Segway x2 Patroller model, which can transverse winter snow and ice with ease.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police swap steeds for Segway PTs in the city of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada in 2011.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police swap steeds for Segway PTs in the city of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada in 2011.

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From bans to fans: Segway PT use takes off across Australia

What a difference a year makes.

Australia has quickly gone from being one of the last OECD countries to permit use of Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) in public spaces to a place where you can see Segway Tours, Segway Police patrols or individuals legally riding in most states in the country.

Segway Police patrols in popular tourist hot spot Noosa, Australia.

Segway Police patrols in popular tourist hot spot Noosa, Australia (photo from linked CourierMail article).

This excellent article in The Courier Mail covers the changes already in place in Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and Australia Capital Territory, including what activities are permitted in each state at this time – and what further changes are expected to follow in the future. Remaining states are expected to catch up soon, as their tourism, policing and commercial sectors count the economic and environmental costs of being left behind in the 20th century.

Segway Safari at Currumbin Sanctuary. Queensland (photo from linked CourierMail article).

Segway Safari at Currumbin Sanctuary. Queensland (photo from linked CourierMail article).

Segway PTs were legalised in most US states between 2002-2005 (yup, that would be 12 to 14 years ago), and in many EU nations 2003-2006. Extensive use worldwide over the past decade has demonstrated just how well the Segway PT integrates seamlessly and safely into pedestrian environments. Which is no surprise because the device was carefully and specifically designed to do just this. When Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson approved the use of Segways in the state in August 2014, The Courier Mail reported:

“I don’t see why Queensland should be behind all those other parts of the world. We are not a nanny state.”

Responsing to the out-of-touch and increasingly quaint-sounding (so-called) “safety concerns” raised by detractors when the rules changed in Australia, Brett Walton, director of Segway supplier Simply Moving Australia, said Segway tourism had been hugely popular overseas since the personal transporters first arrived on the market in 2001:

“Paris is a city of 14 million people and they have Segway tours running through the day and night. If it can work in Paris, it can work in any city here.”

Not only is Paris in the most densely populated city in the world, in 2003 it became the first EU country to begin city Segway Tours.

Segway Tours in Western Australia (Segway Safari at Currumbin Sanctuary).

Segway Tours in Western Australia (Segway Safari at Currumbin Sanctuary).

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Segway Parking Only

SegwayParking

We got a nice surprise gift today as a special “Thank You” from staff at Magic Broomstick Segway Tours in Devonport, Auckland.

“In the future, we will drive standing up” wrote David Byrne from the band Talking Heads on the cover of a record album released in 1984. If he is right, then signs like this will become quite a common sight around town.

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700 horses and 3 Segway PTs

Three Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) were hard at work amongst 700 horses and more than 3,000 humans at the Waitemata Show Jumping ‘World Cup  Final 3* Show’ at Woodhill Sands 10-12 January 2014.

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Segway PTs are a powerful tool for Event Management, and this three day show was aided by two Segway x2’s and one i2 model. Zero-emission Segway PTs quickly and safely transverse sand patches, dirt tracks and grass paddocks with ease.

One horse owner arrived by helicopter, landing on the lawn at the neighbouring property. Yes, of course he was ferried to the show on a Segway PT!

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