Company: CoStar Group.
Number of employees: About 700 in Washington; 2,000 nationally.
A couple of times a month, Kevin Mason takes a Segway to lunch.
Among his lunchtime jaunts on the two-wheeled electric scooter: Chipotle (0.8 miles from his office in Northwest D.C.), Ben’s Chili Bowl (1.2 miles), the Apple Store in Georgetown (2.1 miles) and L’Enfant Plaza, where his wife works (2.2 miles).
“It makes the city smaller,” said Mason, a product engagement manager at CoStar Group. “It’s nice to have an expanded range during lunch time.”
CoStar, a commercial real estate data firm (and a Capital Business content partner), allows employees at its headquarters to use Segways for personal errands.
Employees are required to take a safety training course and sign a waiver before they can use the Segways. More than 200 employees have qualified to date.
The Segways — six in all — are parked alongside a dozen bicycles and a shelf full of helmets in the company’s garage. The CoStar logo is emblazoned on the front and sides of the vehicles.
The Segways, which the company began using about two years ago, are part of a broader push toward sustainable transportation, said Brian Radecki, CoStar’s chief financial officer. The company has four electric car-charging stations in its parking garage, and offers free shuttles to and from Metro Center every morning and evening.
“We’ve really ramped up our transportation benefits in the last couple of years,” Radecki said. “Eighty-five percent of our employees now use public transportation.”
Dennis Harrington, who manages CoStar’s internal communications, had never been on a Segway until he borrowed one from the company last winter.
His first trip was a joy ride to the National Mall with five co-workers.
“It was like a wolf pack,” Harrington said. “I made a perfect fool of myself, but it was so much fun. Everyone was giggling the whole time.”