Tour guide licensing upheld in District

Washington’s licensing of tour guides was upheld on Friday by a federal judge, denying a freedom of speech challenge by owners of a Segway tour company.

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman rejected a suit by Segs in the City tour owners Tonia Edwards and Bill Main, who don’t use licensed guides and wanted city oversight ended. Friedman dismissed the suit, saying the city bases its regulations on “plaintiff’s conduct, not their speech.”

Having passed the exam and criminal check last year, I feel licensing is warranted. Otherwise, you’ll see plenty of scam artists taking advantage of the public. Lots of tourists will be unhappy with the experience and it will only hurt local tourism. Frankly, all these tour busses with audio taped guides should be replaced with live guides too like Chicago, New York and London where I’ve experienced them.

The test is not that hard. You have to correctly answer 70 of 100 multiple-choice questions. Someone with good history knowledge would come close. I did study hard and that made the difference because the questions were pretty far ranging and you didn’t know which of the seven versions of the test you’d receive. But, it’s not impossible for anyone to pass the test with some work.

Judge backs D.C. tour guide rules

About Rick

Rick Snider is a native Washingtonian, long-time journalist and licensed tour guide since 2010.
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