Business Police & Fire Transportation

Segway Tour Company, Boston Gliders, Has Lawsuit Dismissed Against City of Boston by Federal Judge

After the Boston City Council passed an ordinance in June 2011 regulating the use of Segways, the North End-based tour company, Boston Gliders sued the city in U.S. District Court arguing the ordinance was unlawfully damaging its business. Specifically, the ordinance restricted Segway use on public ways, sidewalks, parks and bicycle paths. Tour operators can obtain licenses to operate Segways on pubic streets in Boston on routes approved by the Boston Transportation Department.

The City argued for dismissal of the case because “no subject matter jurisdiction exists” for the Federal court. Other than a “vague allegation” that the ordinance violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and an unlisted reference to racial discrimination, the court agreed with the City and dismissed the case on March 8, 2012. The order by U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. is pasted below and available here as a pdf. (Thanks to the neighbors that helped source the documents.)

A separate case in Boston Municipal Court remains pending where the Suffolk District Attorney is pursuing multiple violations of the city ordinance by Boston Gliders. According to the D.A.’s office, a hearing scheduled for late February 2012 was postponed at the request of the defendant.