St John - Guides no longer able to drive?

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#1
Wigan, United Kingdom
789 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hi all,

We have an excursion booked in St John for October 17th i.e. 12 days from now..The tour company has just emailed us this :

I regret to announcethe City of St. John has suddenly and without warning changed their policyregarding tour guides and the transportation they use to deliver tours.Unfortunately, this will affect the way your upcoming tour is delivered – notin the content, but in the transportation arrangement. In short, Mike will notbe able to drive while he provides your tour.


They have offered us a couple of not very satisfactory options / solutions. One of which is a member of our party drives a rental vehicle, the other is a shared van with strangers.


We booked a private guide for the 5 of us, and paid a lot of money for it.


I am not saying their is anything untoward here, but call me suspicious, I find it difficult to believe the city has done this with immediate effect and no prior warning.


Any locals out there hearing anything?
#4
Arizona
738 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
We did a taxi tour of Bar Harbor in 2014 that was prebooked. The guide talked with both hands, while driving up the mountain with a cliff to the right down to the ocean! I can see where the rule might not be a bad idea.

Did they offer you a discount? It seems as though you providing a rental car or sharing a tour would be priced differently.


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#5
Wigan, United Kingdom
789 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by JoyMouse
We did a taxi tour of Bar Harbor in 2014 that was prebooked. The guide talked with both hands, while driving up the mountain with a cliff to the right down to the ocean! I can see where the rule might not be a bad idea.

Did they offer you a discount? It seems as though you providing a rental car or sharing a tour would be priced differently.


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Alas no discount 😠

Due to the timing etc we are reluctantly taking the sharing tour as we feel we have little choice.

We can totally understand the fact that driver guides can be distracted - in Rome they have drivers and guides and never the twain shall meet - but the timing of the announcement makes us suspicious.

Call me a cynic, but i see too many people wanting an excursion and this company thinking, you know what, we can stick them all together and get a lot more $$$ for it.

Thanks for your reply. 😊
#6
NB Canada
952 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
This sounds very strange. Cities have no authority here to make regulations about driving, that is a provincial responsibility.

I'm also guessing you are going to Saint John, NB not St John's NFLD.
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#7
4,506 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
In Boston, they have a rule not allowing tour guides on certain vehicles to also be drivers. Specifically on Duck Tours due to a couple of accidents in the past.
#9
Wigan, United Kingdom
789 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by declansdad
This sounds very strange. Cities have no authority here to make regulations about driving, that is a provincial responsibility.

I'm also guessing you are going to Saint John, NB not St John's NFLD.
Correct, Saint John NB.

I also smell a rat !
#10
Wigan, United Kingdom
789 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by 1025cruise
In Boston, they have a rule not allowing tour guides on certain vehicles to also be drivers. Specifically on Duck Tours due to a couple of accidents in the past.
Not had the pleasure of visiting Boston, it is on my list though

I know this kind of thing does exist, just finding it strange in this instance.
#11
Wigan, United Kingdom
789 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by missdenise
Quite interesting. Please keep us update.
Well, we are sharing a van now.. same price.

I will post on this thread on my return, if not before
#12
NB Canada
952 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Here is a link to a story that explains what has caused the problem.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-br...ctor-1.4348458
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#15
Wigan, United Kingdom
789 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by missdenise
Well to glad to know the tour company was being honest and there was no 'rat' as far as they were concerned.
Yes very happy to read the article, well not happy as such, feel for poor Mike and others but happy that the company appears to be 100% legitimate.

I am sure we will still have an awesome day
#16
Houston, TX USA
14,473 Posts
Joined Mar 2000
They were telling the truth. We had a huge problem with our private tour in Saint John last week, and a big part of the mess was because of the new city rule.

We requested and were granted a 50% refund, because there were 11 of us in two vans with only one guide. The vans were actually taxis the company contracted with since their guides were unable to drive.

We were not at all happy with our experience in Saint John. In addition to the problems with our tour, the city as well as the fishing village of Saint Martin were completely overwhelmed because of three large ships in port the day we visited.

I would be hesitant to spend money for a private tour until companies get new procedures worked out. In our case, I felt like the company tried to go ahead with the tour but didn't have a good plan for how to make sure everyone had a guide in their vehicle. We switched off, but certainly didn't feel like we were given a great tour. During the times that our vehicle was without a guide we rode in silence with no idea what we were looking at.


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#17
PA
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Joined Feb 2016
this really solidifies me getting a rental car and doing things on my own. and probably explains why the place next to the ship is sold out and i have to go to enterprise, a bit further away.
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#18
877 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by luckyinpa
this really solidifies me getting a rental car and doing things on my own. and probably explains why the place next to the ship is sold out and i have to go to enterprise, a bit further away.
We have rented from Enterprize both times we were in St John. No biggie since they pick you up.
#19
New Brunswick, Canada
415 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
Originally posted by declansdad
This sounds very strange. Cities have no authority here to make regulations about driving, that is a provincial responsibility.

I'm also guessing you are going to Saint John, NB not St John's NFLD.
Cities DO and CAN make regulations for driving taxi and other public conveyance. For example, a taxi in Fredericton can not be a vehicle more than 3 (or maybe 5) years old. I can't recall which city here has a rule drivers must wear a shirt with a collar...... My guess is Saint John has decided to "regulate" the industry to create a revenue stream or has classified the private tours as taxi...which has its own rules, regulations and of course....a fee once a driver or company meets all their expensive "licencing" criteria. They need the $$$ for city coffers. (I was born and brought up there so I this does not surprise me.)

I doubt that your tour you booked was shady.....I suspect that there has been a lot of bureaucratic red tape that has been suddenly added not giving providers enough time to get their ducks in a row before your arrival.
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#20
NB Canada
952 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by Shih-tzu
Cities DO and CAN make regulations for driving taxi and other public conveyance. For example, a taxi in Fredericton can not be a vehicle more than 3 (or maybe 5) years old. I can't recall which city here has a rule drivers must wear a shirt with a collar...... My guess is Saint John has decided to "regulate" the industry to create a revenue stream or has classified the private tours as taxi...which has its own rules, regulations and of course....a fee once a driver or company meets all their expensive "licencing" criteria. They need the $$$ for city coffers. (I was born and brought up there so I this does not surprise me.)

I doubt that your tour you booked was shady.....I suspect that there has been a lot of bureaucratic red tape that has been suddenly added not giving providers enough time to get their ducks in a row before your arrival.
What the change was figured out in an earlier post, thanks for your input.
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