Irresponsible riding and accidents involving Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs), including e-scooters, have increased. These have led to injuries and even loss of life.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has made a difficult decision to ban the riding of e-scooters on all footpaths on 4 November 2019.
The ban took effect on 5 November 2019, to allow time for riders to adjust, LTA will provide an advisory period until December 2019 before enforcement will start taking place.
This ban has caused concern amongst the food delivery community, some riders worried about their livelihood and income, and other issues such as unable to fully pay off their PMDs instalments.
A Transition Assistance Package (TAP), will be rolled out to help food delivery riders during this transition.
LTA will work jointly with food delivery companies Grab, Deliveroo and Foodpanda to implement a $7m e-Scooter Trade-in Grant (eTG).
The grant will provide funding assistance for affected food delivery riders to switch to bicycles, or Power Assisted Bicycle (PAB) and Personal Mobility Aids (PMAs).
Under this scheme, LTA will match dollar-for-dollar to the food delivery companies’ funding the support for their riders who trade in their e-scooters.
Each rider will receive up to $1000. If they trade in their e-scooters for a PAB, and up to $600 for a bicycle, this scheme will be available until 31 December 2019 and will be administered by the food delivery companies. To qualify the riders must be an existing rider with their respective company as of 7 November 2019.
The National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) has also offered to help those riders who intend to consider other job option. NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institue (e2i) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) are working with these three food delivery companies to provide career services and job search support.
Affected riders will receive customised information on career events starting from 11 November 2019.
In Northern California, robots are used to deliver foods, and delivery workers have voiced concerns that these robots will eventually replace them entirely. And this could be highly possible, especially as specific jobs post a threat of being made obsolete by automation.
The trump card is on the rider’s side now. Now that the Government is listening, Food delivery riders should capitalise on this opportunity to negotiate for grants to upskill themselves or be placed into jobs with a better prospect.
Riders with immediate financial difficulties may also approach the nearest Social Service Office or their local grassroots Advisors for ComCare assistance.