I went on this hop-on-hop-off tour with the expectation that it would like the others I have experienced in other big cities like Dallas and Chicago. However, since it is a small start-up that was not the case. However, the owner(s) was very nice and had a conversation with me and listened to my feedback. And so, even though there were disappointments I remember something my daddy told me once: If you dont have anything nice to say; dont say anything at all. And, since I do have some nice things to say I will share those this time and not the negatives:
1. They are a small company (for now!) and so the experience has a more personal touch and the owners are receptive to customer feedback.
2. They offer sunscreen on the bus. This is important for someone like me because I am very fair skinned. I burn quickly. And in Austin in JULY it is sunny and hot. Thank you for the sunblock!
3. They serve ice cold water! Again, when you are out sightseeing in the Austin summer sun and/or in top of a double decker bus a little water comes in handy! Not only do they have water they bring it to you!
4. They offer ice cold, wet towels. At first I was NOT a fan of this because what would I do with a freezing cold sopping wet towel. But the owner explained to me that they give it to you wet on purpose so that you can cool off better. My concern is that if you dont want to be wet - there is nowhere to wring the towel out. The owner explained that many people just hold it off the side of the bus. I explained that many buses ask people to keep arms and hands inside at all times. he understood so I hope something will change about this because that cold towel came in real handy!
5. The route is a pro and a con for me! The pro side is that you get wide coverage. You get many interesting stops that cover a long distance. YES, there is some overlap in the route, but like most down town areas there are one way streets, etc to content with so that doesnt bother me too much. The con for me is that if you time it badly waiting for 2 hours to get picked up is a LOT of time. The owner says that as they grow they can offer more buses and this wait time will decrease. So, for now, if you take this tour just try to time you sightseeing with the knowledge that you have 2 hours to spend PER stops you make.
6. The price is a plus. It is approx $30 per person for hop on and hop off. And, atleast 2 of their stops are FREE and/or have a FREE tour at them. The capitol is an example! So for $30 a person you get all day sightseeing transportation. I think this is reasonable.
I hope that this review is helpful. YES, there were obviously things that I didnt like since in my mind I was expecting a hop-on-hop-off experience as I have had with larger companies in different cities. However, because the owner spoke to me personally and I understand more about why those negative experiences existed and their plan to resolve them I am not inclined to complain at this time.
I wish them the best of luck and I hope that they con continue to grow so that they can offer more stops, utilize more buses, and offer less wait time per stop!