New Tour Experience To Feature ‘ScootCoupes’

March 9, 2015

The Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] has pledged financial support via an interest-free loan in order to support a new visitor experience involving three-wheel scooters, the brainchild of two Bermudian entrepreneurs in their thirties.

ScootCoupe Bermuda plans to introduce a collection of three-wheel scooters as part of a four-hour end-to-end guided tour experience for vacationers. First-time entrepreneurs TJ Clark, 31, and Justin Robinson, 30, are assured a $30,000 interest-free loan from the BTA to get their innovative idea up and running.

“This tour experience will target the 300,000-plus cruise visitors that come into Dockyard and provide them a new, exciting option to see the whole island from west to east,” said Mr. Robinson, who works in the international business sector.

ScootCoupe partners Justin Robinson and TJ Clark:

ScootCoupe Partners

“We’ll help visitors experience tourism hubs along the way and partner specifically with businesses in St. George to encourage customers to experience what the east end has to offer.”

“This Tourism Experiences application checked a lot of strategic boxes for us and that’s why we were motivated to find a way to support it,” said Pat Phillip-Fairn who oversees the entrepreneurs’ investment process for the BTA.

“ScootCoupe Bermuda provides a method to stimulate higher on-island spending from cruise ship passengers. It also provides an innovative way to get cruise ship passengers to St. George – where we are working with stakeholders to increase visitor foot traffic.”

Public buses, taxis and minibus services are among the options available to cruise visitors for guided tours of the island out of Dockyard. ScootCoupe Bermuda believes its experience will complement the current market offerings, appealing particularly to youthful, adventure-seeking vacationers.

ScootCoupe1

The two-seat vehicle sits the operator and passenger side-by-side in a topless three-wheel vehicle. Seat belts and helmets are required and a trained ScootCoupe Bermuda guide will lead the group around the island.

Mr. Clark, who works in banking, said, “ScootCoupe is for those who have an affinity for adventure and the outdoors, similar to a jet ski tour except this is on land instead of the water. We allow the visitor to experience the sights, sounds and smells of Bermuda in a way not currently available.”

Several destinations around the world, like Las Vegas, St. Maarten and Captiva, Florida, already have ScootCoupe operations. ScootCoupe Bermuda must first get regulatory approval from the Bermuda Department of Transportation before it can begin offering its experience.

Depending on the pace of the regulatory process, ScootCoupe Bermuda hopes to have acquired its vehicles and established a physical location in Dockyard by August 1st of this year. The $30,000 financial support from the Tourism Authority is dependent on the company’s ability to reach certain milestones on the road to launch.

ScootCoupe2

ScootCoupe Bermuda believes it has the business plan, financing and legal advice necessary to get started successfully. It says receiving a green light from transport regulators is the final major hurdle to clear. The approval being sought at this stage will allow a customer to rent a ScootCoupe vehicle only when it is part of a guided tour experience.

The next opportunity for entrepreneurs to submit ideas in the Tourism Experiences process is September of this year for investment in 2016. Information on the process will update on the BTA’s corporate website.

For 2015, the process is closed – 41 ideas are slated to receive funding, totaling more than $813,000 in investment. Four of the 41 investments are interest-free loans.

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Comments (75)

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  1. watching says:

    Nice job Guys!

    • Mockingjay says:

      Nice concept, but Bermuda is TOO small.
      Traffic jams, and when you overtake them you wouldn’t be able to see them as they are low to the ground and when you go around a corner and they’re coming in the opposite direction they’re hard to see. should have a trial run first.

      • Lois Frederick says:

        They will probably have flags so they can be seen. Nice idea.

      • brigadooner says:

        no worries you’ll have driven away all the tourists by the time this gets implemented anyways so it won’t affect you at all.

      • outkasted says:

        if you obey the rules of the road this won’t be an issue. besides the Wheelchair scooters have done quite well

        • Mockingjay says:

          How many wheelchair scooters do we encounter on a daily basis, and they can go on the sidewalks.

          • Unearthed says:

            What happens when it rains?? They just get wet right?? Or should they take their rain coat with them.

            These little Disney World cars don’t even look like they are meant for the main road.

            The transportation we offer to our tourists is down right pathetic. Is this really the best we can come up with?

      • No Panic says:

        I drove one of these around in the streets of San Francisco without any issues. Don’t see why it will be a problem here. This is an awesome idea for Bermuda!

        • Mockingjay says:

          How BIG are the Streets of San Francisco compared to an 8 feet wide 21 square mile road !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Strike fund says:

        Bermuda is the perfect size for these.

        Some people are too small minded.

        • Mockingjay says:

          Bermuda is the perfect size for them yes, but there is TOO MUCH traffic and you would be the first one complaining that you are late because of the backlog.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            I actually miss the time when we had groups of tourists on our roads, it was a sign that the there were visitors on island spending money… frustrating as it was to be stuck behind them, I think I would like to see that again, it would help Bermudians. Plus it was never a problem during traffic time anyway, as most tourists didn’t go out in the rush hours. With guided tours, they can schedule to avoid those times, and as these trikes are designed with the 2 wheels in the front, they are a lot more stable and likely to decrease the chances of tourists getting in an accident than if they were on a scooter. Other than the possiblility of experiencing self-centred induced annoyance at being stuck behind a pack of these tourers, all in all a positive idea and I hope that they can get through the bureaucratic black hole that is the transportation department and get rolling (I’ll admit, pun intended : )) with this idea. Congrats to Misters Robinson and Clark and the BTA and best of luck in this venture.

            • Mockingjay says:

              You will never see those times of groups of tourist again, they’ve all gone to the Caribbean where it is MUCH cheaper and MUCH more fun.

        • Be Like Me says:

          Yes, Bermuda is the perfect size for them… but not 8-12 in a row on a guided tour.. You think we have traffic problems now… Just wait!!

      • Purple Koolaid says:

        @Mockingjay…you just never stop do you. Do you need a hug? Were you not loved as a child?

    • Unearthed says:

      These things look like they belong in Disney World!! LMAO I thought we were ‘Strategically’ positioning ourselves to cater to the wealthy.. This was a good laugh though.

      Just let tourist rent small hybrid or Class A-B cars and impose a limit of say 200.

      • Unearthed says:

        But then Again… let them rent some expensive cars as well. BMW,, or Lexus for the rich.

  2. Anticipating if this will be available for the Bermuda Cruise Season!?

  3. Great idea. We need to consider expanding this idea to allow for visitors to rent cars as well.

    Gentlemen good luck – I hope these will be licenced and approved for rentals.

  4. Datbye says:

    O man, nice try but can you, imagine the traffic slow down and back up this will cause. Not sure this is a good idea. And where are they going to park these, When and where ever they stop.

    • Justin says:

      It will be a nuisance, but this is what we have to put up with if we want to get Bermuda back on the map when it comes to tourism. I just hope that Bermudians will be patient if they get stuck behind these guys and pass them when it becomes safe to do so.

      • Mockingjay says:

        Tourist will not come to back Bermuda because they can ride a three wheeled vehicle, they go to the Caribbean because its cheaper.

        • Annie says:

          Mock, you have got to be the most negative person to ever walk this planet. Lighten up and think ‘glass half full’ for once.

          Great idea-Bermuda’s getting sharp!

        • Doesnt like Mockingjay says:

          mockingjay, you are such a ****. It’s people like you that stop Bermuda being truly world class. What a narrow minded guy!

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          No, they will come to Bermuda because they can tour around the entire island freely and safely, unlike many Caribbean destinations where they recommend you don’t go off the resorts. This offers one more way to see our island that can be more interactive for the traveller. The only threat to them will be some people who think they own the road, that courtesy on the roads should be shown to them, not by them and that traffic laws are suggestions.
          I would like more information from Misters Robinson and Clark for their tour plans, as I think this would be a fun way to take friends around the island when they visit. Details like where they would stop on tours.

          • Mockingjay says:

            Well you’re going to the wrong Islands, I’ve been St. Lucia, Barbados, Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Martin, Jamaica, Dominica, Porto Rico, Martinique, and travelled freely in rented cars and on bikes without Danger Warnings.
            The only concern I had was the women taking my money.
            LMAO

  5. Ed Case says:

    This is an excellent idea to get tourists off those dangerous scooters.

    I am expecting some narrow minded Bermudians to disagree.

    • Mockingjay says:

      Maybe narrow minded because of NARROW roads.

      • Ed Case says:

        Mockingay: Or a complete inability to think sensibly – that perhaps our tourists might expect to be able to rent something other than a death trap scooter.

        • Unearthed says:

          Read my posts. Mockingjay makes more sense than you Mr. Ed.

  6. Family Man says:

    Please don’t let me get stuck behind a line of these going down south shore…

  7. teri says:

    how fast can these go? it looks like it would take forever to get to st george from dockyards.
    as a yearly visitor, please don’t start renting cars to us! your bus system and taxis work just fine.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      They say they go a little over 40mph, and they aren’t be advertised as a rental option, but as a touring option with a guide

  8. Tough Love says:

    Good idea guys! Best of luck to your company!

  9. Traffic Jam! says:

    Noooooooo

    This is a terrible idea. More slow moving vehicles? No, thank you.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      I actually think we need more slow moving vehicles. Not faster ones.

  10. Will Cox says:

    Having driven these vehicles in New Orleans, they are an excellent addition to the Bermuda scene. They were safe and with respectful driving are very visible. Rather than worrying about how it is going to effect us perhaps we should get out of our own way and get behind Tj and Justiin, who I have never met but wish every success, with our support.

  11. Y-Gurl says:

    Stupid idea, it’s all fun and games until we stuck in a mile traffic tailback trying to get to or from work, it’s idiotic to think these things will be traveling from ST. Geo it’s going to be a nightmare for the people who pay tax to drive on the road.

    • Strike fund says:

      They are targeting the cruise ship passengers who won’t be starting their tours until the rush hour commute has finished.
      Secondly, they will be stopping at hubs (beaches etc.) so there will be opportunities to pass.
      They will be paying some form of tax (fuel duty) and plus it looks like a fun new experience that we don’t currently offer tourists.
      Safer than scooters.
      They can go up to 45mph too.

      If this Is offered at a competitive price, then I think they will be a huge success.
      Good luck!

    • 69SSRS says:

      And what’s the difference from being behind a bicycle???? They don’t pay to use the road.

    • W900Bx3 says:

      What’s the difference than a bicycle???? They pay no tax and slow up traffic too…

  12. outkasted says:

    i believe small car rentals are needed. But real cars….just small that is all.

  13. Thinking outside the box says:

    Congratulations gents,

    Well done to you and I wish you every success in this venture.

    Don’t let the groaners on this blog get you down–they complain about everything–

    Delighted to see that some of us are trying to fix the problems of this place instead of perputuating the stupidity of the past.

    Have a blessed day.

  14. swing voter says:

    nice….I hope TCD don’t dampen on innovation!

    • somuchless says:

      That would be so dumb if they didn’t get the approval first.

  15. Toodle-oo says:

    I’d guess that having to wear helmets in these isn’t going to be a well liked requirement .

  16. watcher55 says:

    Holy crap this is a stupid idea, I guess we all now have a new excuse for arriving somewhere late

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Don’t see why, over the last 8 years, traffic on our roads has decreased.

  17. Drew says:

    I think this is a great idea! I have been saying for the past 20+ years that we need to get away from rental cycles and start renting golf carts or the like! Most visitors have never been on a scooter before arriving here. Why not open the railway trail as a passage way just for these types of rentals! I think it would work! Good luck guys!

  18. Inquiring minds says:

    I saw these in those in rhode island four years ago and rhought they would work well here but could not get the capital so let it go by .

    Glad these young guys have taken the plunge and I think it is much safer than scooters for those who mostly drive and don’t ride.

  19. Kathy says:

    LOVE IT!

  20. No Longer A Member says:

    Great idea. Safer than a moped. Creating parking may be an issue, but otherwise a positive for tourism. Well done guys!!!

  21. No Longer A Member says:

    Sorry, I just read the article, I was saying great for tourists to rent, but to do tours it may create traffic delays. You will need to tours to be small groups??? I think rentals is the way to go, try looking at that?

  22. Bill says:

    You cannot be serious.There’s too much traffic now!

    Accidents galore here we come.

    I agree, where are they going to park?

    • Ed Case says:

      Bill: I imagine if you were alive when people were getting indoor toilets you would have complained at how insanitary they would be and that they shouldn’t be allowed. There’s something called ‘thinking outside the box’ and clearly you can’t do it.

      Bermuda must have something like car rentals or they will never compete with the rest of the world. This is overdue. Tourists expect it. You and many closed minded Bermudians are living in the past.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Sorry ,but I’m definitely not living in the past. This entire idea is actually self defeating.

        Once upon a time when we had a tourism industry based largely on repeat visitors one of the things that drew them was our peace and quiet . And a huge contributor to that was very little traffic.

        In the early 90′s traffic boomed , nay , exploded , when the 2nd hand car market was opened up wide and shortly thereafter it became a common complaint of visitors that the amount of traffic was a shock to them .
        Now it’s even worse and nearly every tourist you speak to will tell you how horrified they are at not only the volume of traffic but the way it conducts itself. Newly arrived guest workers share the same opinion as well.

        So how does allowing more vehicles on the road make us more attractive to them ?

        And don’t get me going on the utter stupidity of out right rental cars . We don’t have room for what we have now as it is .

        On top of the change to the 2nd hand car market , not too long ago someone thought it would be a nice idea to allow over sized SUVs because the public was crying out for them. Well look where that got us .

        Now we’re going to compound the problem and create more congestion and noise in a place that we still falsely market as ‘tranquil’ and ‘peaceful’ thinking that tourists want them ?

      • Jonny rocket says:

        lol….bravo mate…this island lacks initiative. Imagine traveling to the US and they told us we cant rent cars over a 2.4 liter engine because we are not used to driving high powered cars, we would be up in arms.

  23. campervan says:

    best of luck in your new venture chaps.
    don’t let the dissenters put you off your goal.
    thanks for helping to rebuild the Bermuda product.

  24. bda says:

    congrats TJ & Justin…….

  25. Make a new plan Stan says:

    This looks nice….I have seen so many people wobbling on scooters that I can appreciate a more stable vehicle.

    I have also been riding a bike and in cars and been passed on the inside when I was NOT about to turn. The first time it happened I was scared and angry all at once (I do not live in the west I know this is normal for people traveling in the western parishes).

    Many people are also saying they will tour when the traffic slows down after rush hour but in recent years I have noticed that the streets in this island stay busy all day.

    I think two at at time would be viable and most people would tolerate that but people have become so aggressive on the roads that a line of four or more (maybe up to the length of a bus of people who are sightseeing) may cause problems from the perspective of lack of patience by us.

    If we adjust our attitudes on the roads towards visitors AND each other……..I say it’s great!

    • Jonny rocket says:

      that is true, but another perspective is, tourist will still be riding two wheeled scooters if they not riding the three wheeled scooters, so there is no increase in the danger but rather a decrease if the tourist can now ride a bike that will reduce their ability to lose control like they do on a two wheeled bike.

  26. Rockfish#2 says:

    Maybe we should slow down and rethink what initially seems like a great idea!
    Will these vehicles be allowed on our roads during peak hours?
    Will visitors be able to rent these vehicles and travel any where on the island without a guide?
    Are we prepared to be patient and understanding when our visitors slow us down on the road?
    Can locals rent these vehicles?
    What are the conditions under which these vehicles are insured?

    We must put our emotions aside, and avoid denigrating those who raise legitimate concerns.

    • Jonny rocket says:

      Its a tour mate, can you rent a tour vehicle and drive it wherever you want. If the tourist arent riding these three wheeled scooters, those same tourist will be riding two wheeled scooters

  27. seascape says:

    Should get rid of all the bikes with two wheels that are available for tourists and bring these in. Safer for tourists.They are available in 50cc and 150cc. Great idea!!! Good luck!

  28. Yes I says:

    Gonna love overtaking these scoots, but I’m fully supportive of this new venture! Looking forward to seeing them on the road with smiling tourissess :) ))

  29. Ed Case says:

    1. Tourists need an alternative to scooters.
    2. We have the least reliable taxi service known to man.
    3. Buses are sketchy too – with our poor sick drivers.
    4. We say we are in the tourism business.

    Tourists expect to be able to rent something with more than 2 wheels – and Bermuda will just have to come down from its sense of entitlement and accept this. Or not be in the tourism business.

    The choice is your Bermuda. If you want to be a spoiled child – then say goodbye to tourism. If you don’t want to compete because if the inconvenience of it all – then so be it.

    Perhaps some of you can come up with a plan where tourists are completely banned from coming here at all – but still have to send us their vacation money.

    Good luck with that.

  30. stunned... says:

    innovative and creative idea.

    as usual, we Bermudians are our own worst enemy..

  31. FatBoy says:

    Finally! I’ve said for the longest that these things should have replaced the moped! It’s safer! I have rented these in South Beach and Las Vegas! They are pretty cool!

  32. Jonny rocket says:

    with all the problems that may or may not arise from these scooters, I would like to think those young men have considered all the same possibilities as posters have raised. I would prefer to see them try and see if it can work rather than shoot them down before its even been determined. This island needs ppl willing to take initiatives and we all should be getting behind local entrepreneurs and making it work for this boring island.

  33. rugbyfancan says:

    This solution is for tourists to get around the island without using taxis, tour buses or public buses. So be it. But the problem is Bda has too many vehicles now. They are driven by people who don’t know how to drive. They haven’t driven in Belgium or Delhi. Start with that problem and solve how to get more people off the road, first. Rather than more people on it. Tourists won’t be able to cope with the island traffic as it is. With 2000+ collisions already, every year, Bda is already a death trap. Nice idea but not one that solves a lack of tourism, or the ability of tourists to visit Swizzle Inn and StG.

  34. Micro says:

    This should be great