Image via Aizuddin Saad/Shutterstock

GrabFood warns longer waiting time and cancelled orders due to e-scooter ban

Following the ban of e-scooters from footpaths starting today (5 November), food delivery provider GrabFood had announced that customers could experience longer waiting time and cancelled orders due to this ban.

“As you may be aware, the Singapore government will prohibit the riding of electric scooters (e-scooters) on all footpaths from 5 November 2019. This means that our delivery-partners who are currently using e-scooters to deliver your orders will need a longer time to do so as they are required to dismount and walk for a longer part of their journey,” Grab said.

Grab revealed that one in three of its delivery riders rely on e-scooters to send food around Singapore, The Straits Times (ST) reported.

As such, the company said that it is helping its partners “to transit to another mode of transport where preferred”.

Due to this sudden change, Grab said that it would like its customers to understand the changes that may occur.

“We seek for your understanding that there may be a longer waiting time for your food orders or you may experience cancellations as our delivery-partners may not be able to cover the delivery distance by foot,” the company said.

There are roughly about 7,000 food delivery riders in the Republic who uses e-scooters, and the majority of them are believed to be working for Grab, ST noted

A spokesperson told ST that Grab will discuss with the Government to see if it would be possible for their riders who have shown good behaviour while riding their devices to use their e-scooters under certain conditions.

The spokesperson also added that the firm will get in touch with all affected riders by end of this week.

Deliveroo: Stop engaging with errant riders who continue to ride on footpaths

Separately, Deliveroo revealed on Monday (4 November) that it will stop engaging with errant riders who continue to ride on footpaths.

A spokesperson from the company said to CNA that it will work closely with all riders to make sure they comply with the road safety rules and guidelines set by the Government.

“We sent out communications to all riders today to inform them of the new regulation. Should any rider be found using an e-scooter on footpaths after Nov 5, we will stop working with them,” the company said.

The firm noted that it anticipates “minimal impact” on the delivery to the customers, since only 5% of its 6,000 riders consist of personal mobility device (PMD) and power-assisted bicycle riders.

If that’s not all, the spokesperson also said that Deliveroo had stopped accepting PMD delivery riders since May this year, following regulatory changes and safety concerns from the members of the public.

“All riders who join Deliveroo are required to complete a programme of introductory road safety guidance, as part of comprehensive onboarding session,” the spokesperson said, adding that the firm works closely with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and be part of meetings with the active mobility team to advocate safe riding.

LTA: Zero-tolerance approach from 1 January 2020

Although e-scooters are not allowed on footpaths, they are still permitted on cycling paths and Park Connector Networks (PCNs), LTA said. Those who don’t comply to this new ban can be fined up to S$2,000 and jail time of up to three months once the ban is strictly enforced from 2020.

From now till 31 December 2019, there will be an advisory period where offenders will be given warnings, in order to give time for e-scooter riders to adjust to the changes.

“From 1 January 2020, a zero-tolerance approach will be taken and those caught riding an e-scooter on footpaths will face regulatory action. Offenders are liable for fines up to S$2,000 and/or face imprisonment of up to 3 months, if convicted,” LTA warned.

However, bicycles and Personal Mobility Aids (PMAs) like motorised wheelchairs will not be subjected to the footpaths ban, and will also be allowed on all cycling paths and PCNs.