The recent ban of electric scooters on footpaths in Singapore has drawn the ire of many PMD users, especially Grab Food Delivery partners who are affected by this move.
On 5 November, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced in a statement that electric scooters will be banned from footpaths and those caught disobeying that rule can be fined up to S$2,000 and sentenced up to three months in jail once the ban is strictly enforced starting 2020.
Though e-scooters are banned from being used on roads and footpaths, they are still allowed on cycling paths and Park Connector Networks (PCN). An estimated 7,000 food delivery riders in Singapore use e-scooters with a majority of them working with Grab.
One Grab Food Delivery Partner shared on the Facebook pages, SG Confessions, how the ban has seriously affected his livelihood. He lamented, “now overnight, my PMD is illegal and I cannot use it for daily work”.
Mr Siva, a GrabFood PMD rider since 2018, who claims to be an ITE graduate shared that he used to work an office job that paid him S$2,200 a month – with no bonuses and only 3 days of medical leave. Mr Siva said that he decided to work with Grab when Grabfood came along, earning himself about S$3,500 per month.
Mr Siva explained that with his S$3,500 salary and his wife’s monthly income of S$2,000, it was a good time for them to start a family. They even bought a BTO flat in CCK for S$250,000.
However, the ban means that his entire income has suddenly plummeted. Mr Siva said, “if I go back to my old job, it [my salary will] drop by S$1,200 every month. I have a baby that needs diapers, need milk powder, need infant care. Now my expense is more than my income”.
Mr Siva said he had done everything the government asked of him, and yet he still ended up in this position.
Govt ask me to buy certified UL2272 PMD, I support and follow.
Govt ask me be careful while riding on the footpath, I careful. Never hit anyone or get into argument before in my 2 year as PMD rider.
Govt tell me to register PMD, I register.
Govt ask me to have stable proper job, I found one.
Govt ask me to have children, I agree and have kid.
I do everything you ask me to, but you still ban me from doing my job, a good job that pay me well.
He added, “I want to be good citizen and help the country by being employ and by having children. I want to help my country, but now my country don’t want to help me.”
Mr Siva pleaded, “tell me what I should do now? With one speech now my income drop so much…How I face my wife now, how I tell my children I cannot bring them go out enjoy some family excursion?”
He said, “Sad to be a loyal Singaporean. I want to be loyal but there is no care for me.”
Comments on the post are largely calling for Mr Siva to simply stop whining and seek an alternative mode of transport instead:
The lack of empathy is alarming.
However, there were a handful of people who sympathised with Mr Siva’s plight and suggested that strict regulations be introduced to allow PMD usage specifically for GrabFood delivery partners as a way to both secure public safety while supporting hardworking people in Singapore:
Others commented that accidents can happen regardless of the mode of transport and that it’s down to the users who make a vehicle safe or not.