Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Lam Pin Min announced in Parliament last week (4 November) that personal mobility devices (PMDs) will be banned from footpaths starting 5th November.
The move sparked outcry from PMD users, especially those who rely on the devices for their jobs as food delivery partners. According to the Ministry of Transport (MOT), there are an estimated 7,000 food delivery riders in Singapore who use PMDs, the majority of whom work with Grab.
As the ban was announced, the government also introduced a nationwide S$7 million programme to help food delivery riders trade-in their PMDs for alternative devices, offering a grant of up to S$1000 per person depending on the alternative device of their choosing. This e-scooter trade-in grant is one part of the Transition Assistance Package (TAP), explained MOT in a press release (8 Nov).
One of the first food delivery companies to announced details on the programme is Grab, which had warned its customers that there may be delays and increased cancellation in orders during this period as their riders switch to alternative modes of transport.
On their website, Grab announced that GrabFood delivery riders will qualify for a grant to trade in their electric scooters for an alternative mobility device if they have made at least one trip between 9 October and 7 November.
Those who have devices registered with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) as per the regulation and have completed at least 20 rides during that period will be able to receive the full grant value. Those who have completed less than 20 rides will first receive 80% of the grant, with the remaining 20% being disbursed after they have completed 20 rides within the first 20 days after they’ve submitted their claim.
Riders can apply for the grant on the Grab website, and the applications will be submitted to the LTA at the end of each day. Riders will be informed of their applications are successful after about two days. Once approved, riders can purchase a new mobility device – either an e-bike or a bicycle – before trading in their e-scooters and receiving the reimbursement within three days.
The scheme starts on Friday, 15 November.
Grab is also partnering with five companies to allow their riders to either rent bikes for free from Singapore’s largest bike-sharing operator SG Bike or purchase them at a discount from retailers like WarehouseSG, My Bike Shop, Hello Bicycle, and Cannasia.
For those who want to use a motorcycle instead, Grab is offering ‘preferred leasing rates’ with its partners, Pyro Leasing and GP Motoring.
In MOT’s statement, the other two components of the TAP is geared towards helping food delivery riders affected by the ban who no longer want to work in that line. First, assistance will be provided by NTUC under their Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) to provide career services and job search support to food delivery riders seeking a shift in careers.
The third component is the provision of temporary financial assistance by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and ComCare schemes for those who have been affected by the ban. Riders are advised to approach the nearest social service officer or PA Community Club for help.