Schlepping in Seattle

It began as an adventure in October 2000, when Seattle's Public Utilities water meter readers started using six $5,000 Segways.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

These self-balancing, electric-powered, stand-on scooters have since become the preferred mode of transport. They are predicted to save the city authorities more than $26,000 over their 10-year lifespan by increasing productivity, improving personal safety and reducing the use of more expensive transport. At first, local authority water meter readers were sceptical about the transporters - which look like an electric zimmerframe on wheels - but soon took to them. Workers cover more meters more quickly and no longer have to lug heavy equipment around - the scooter's handy pockets take care of that - and it's impossible to fall off a Segway (unless you're Dubya). So successful has the scheme been that Seattle has bought 10 more transporters for use in pilot schemes for litter-gatherers and parking meter coin collectors. That'll help balance the books.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime


Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today