A little research convinced me that the Boston Duck Tours are more or less the same idea, and all are wheelchair accessible.
So I objected:
Unbeknownst to me, Murphy's had been acquired by Ambassatours, and I soon heard from Dennis Campbell, who had served alongside me on the Minister's Panel on Accessibility Legislation last summer:
And I replied:
We had the coffee. As you can tell, I had some concerns about speaking on behalf of a whole community, and I thought I might be able to get the UARB to set a precedent. But really, I just want to take a Harbour Hopper tour, so over the course of the summer we reached an agreement. I wanted two spots, but settled for one. I wanted no tie-downs, but Cher Smith convinced me it was about passenger safety and not about my independence: Here's the final:
Dennis is a remarkable fellow. Straightforward, as good as his word and concerned to do the right thing. At the same time, he is a good businessman, a tough negotiator who will not lose by this arrangement. He can read the tea leaves and sees the advantage in being able to offer his tour to the many elderly and disabled visitors to Halifax. While others grouse about the cost of accessibility, Dennis will be laughing all the way to the bank.
In a word, Dennis is smart and capable of holding two thoughts in his brain at the same time. Tourism is not monolithic, nor is education, real estate or retail. Despite the dire predictions in this Turner-Drake newsletter, there's plenty of opportunity to make money on accessible homes - people want to age in place, and as one market segment goes down, another rises. Dalhousie could increase enrollment. Retail can find employees (and customers). My advice to business? Be more like Dennis Campbell.
Kevin Murphy will be the first passenger on the newly accessible Harbour Hoppers. My treat!