Food delivery partners gathering at Hougang Meet the People session on Fri evening (8 Nov). Photo: Terry Xu

E-scooter Trade-in-Grant among measures to assist food delivery riders affected by footpath use ban

The introduction of a S$7mil e-scooter Trade-in Grant (eTG) is one of the measures included in a Transition Assistance Package for food delivery riders to cope with the recent ban on the e-scooters on footpaths.

Noting that around 7,000 food delivery riders utilised e-scooters at work alongside the majority who use traditional vehicles such as motorcycles and bicycles, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) on Fri (8 Nov) said that the eTG aims to financially assist said riders in the process of switching to bicycles, Power Assisted Bicycles (PABs) or Personal Mobility Aids (PMAs).

“Under this scheme, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will match dollar-for-dollar the food delivery companies’ funding support for their food delivery riders who trade in their existing e-scooters for alternative LTA-approved devices,” said MOT, adding that “each rider will receive an eTG of up to S$1,000 for PABs or S$600 for bicycle”.

“For delivery riders with mobility difficulties who are eligible to use PMAs and wish to continue working for their delivery company, they too will receive an eTG of up to S$1,000.

“The eTG scheme will be administered by the food delivery companies, which are also working with retailers to bulk purchase and bring down costs of these devices,” said MOT.

Delivery riders who work for more than one company will only be eligible for one eTG disbursement, the Ministry added.

Food delivery riders who wish to qualify for the eTG must be existing e-scooter food delivery riders as of Thu (7 Nov), and are required to surrender their e-scooters at disposal points located at Grab, Deliveroo and Foodpanda’s premises.

MOT urged food delivery riders to approach their companies for more details on the grant scheme, which will operate till 31 Dec 2019.

The package, jointly created by MOT and LTA with the three major food delivery companies, will also include a joint effort between NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) with Grab, Deliveroo and Foodpanda’s to provide food delivery riders seeking new jobs with employability support under the Adapt and Grow initiative.

Affected drivers will receive customised information on career events starting from next week.

MOT encouraged the affected food delivery riders to contact WSG directly via hotline at 6883 5885, or to drop in at any of the five WSG’s Careers Connect and NTUC’s e2i centres for immediate assistance.

Food delivery riders seeking further information on the career services and employability initiative may visit WSG’s website and the Adapt and Grow initiative website.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development’s (MSF) and ComCare schemes will also be available to provide temporary financial assistance to riders via the nearest Social Service Office or PA Community Club, MOT added.

Commenting on the decision to ban the use of e-scooters on footpaths, MOT said that it was a “difficult” one to make, particularly in the light of food delivery riders’ affected livelihood, and “arose because of many instances of irresponsible riding”.

“Even as the delivery riders switch to other modes of transport, they should be mindful of safety both for themselves and other path and road users.

“They should strictly abide by the safety rules, including speed limits, so as not to cause unnecessary injury,” MOT added.

CNA reported on Wed evening (6 Nov) that around 50 e-scooters riders gathered at a Meet the People session in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s ward Ang Mo Kio to address their grievances regarding the ban, with many of them seen in GrabFood delivery uniforms.