Monday, November 22, 2004

City of Seattle: Fleets and Facilities Segway Project Update June 2004

Fleets and Facilities Segway Project Update June 2004: "In August 2002, the City of Seattle began evaluating the Segway Human Transporter (HT) as a method of personal transportation to reduce the use of vehicles and fuel consumption.

In fall 2002, Seattle Public Utilities tested the Segway HT in its meter reading group; a report issued in May 2003 indicated using the Segway HT on meter reading routes increased efficiency, thereby lowering labor costs."

Seattle owns 15 Segways:

- 12 (e) models (configured to carry cargo & able to balance on its own with a feature called "e stand"); and
- 3 (i) models
- Each unit cost approximately $5,000

Departments are considering using Segway HTs for several reasons, including to:

Increase productivity
In terms of efficiency and productivity, a person can move two to three times faster on a Segway than walking. In addition, one of the models the City is testing can carry up to 75 pounds of equipment in attached cargo bags. In some City applications, this ability to carry more equipment than a person walking would enable the operator to perform work that might otherwise require a return trip with a vehicle to haul tools.

Address ergonomic issues
The City is looking at ways the Segway HT can help address the future of our aging work force. Some jobs require a large amount of walking and employees who have difficulty walking because of knee or hip problems, for example, may be able to utilize the Segway HT. This will allow the City to retain experienced workers longer, saving the cost of employee overturn. While the Segway HT is not licensed by the FDA as a medical device, some people are utilizing the Segway HT as a transportation aid in certain situations (in some cases of muscular dystrophy or Parkinson's disease).

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NOTE: Segway was featured on 60 minutes last night and the Today Show this morning.

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