Over 1,300 food delivery riders could get hit by e-scooter ban

Deliveroo and foodpanda said they will stop working with errant riders in light of the ban.

On 5 November, the Land Transportation Authority announced that riding electric scooters (e-scooters) are now prohibited from rolling on Singapore’s footpaths, and instead are now limited to cycling paths and Park Connector Networks. This ban has caused concern amongst the food delivery community as Singapore Business Review has found that about 1,300 e-scooter riders from Deliveroo, foodpanda, and Grab could be affected.

Deliveroo, which has 5% of their 6,000-strong fleet comprised of personal mobility devices (PMDs) and power-assisted bicycles (PABs), stated that they are complying with the LTA and have reached out to their riders about the new regulation. “Should any riders be found using an e-scooter on footpaths after 5 November we will stop working with them,” a spokesperson told Singapore Business Review.

In fact, the platform had ceased accepting PMD riders in May citing regulatory changes and public safety concerns, the spokesperson added.

foodpanda is taking a similar step, sending out communications to their riders through emails and social media in light of the new regulation. Approximately 12% of PMD users make up their 8,000-strong fleet, and the platform is working with riders who may be interested in changing their mode of transport - including riders from other food delivery companies.

GrabFood, on the other hand, has been in talks with five retailers to help delivery-partners explore other viable transport options such as bicycles and motorcycles, at preferred rental or purchase rates. This came on the back of the concerns they received where their riders are seeking alternative options to avoid costs of purchasing or renting another vehicle.

The firm said in a statement that they will give subsidies of up to $300 to their delivery-partners to purchase new bicycles, or up to $500 for power assisted bicycles (PAB).

The subsidy will be matched dollar-for-dollar by LTA under its e-Scooter Trade-in Grant, bringing the total potential subsidies to $600 and $1,000 for bicycles and PABs respectively. LTA's additional subsidy applies upon trade-in of existing e-scooters,” said Dilip Roussenaly, head of GrabFood Singapore.

Road safety guidelines
In order to improve the safety of their riders on the road, both Deliveroo and Foodpanda have introduced initiatives in place. “All riders who will join Deliveroo are required to complete a programme of introductory road safety guidance, as part of comprehensive onboarding sessions,” Deliveroo said.

Likewise, foodpanda stated, “We have an extensive onboarding process when new riders join the fleet aimed at ensuring adherence to LTA regulations, safe riding practices, as well as ongoing refresher sessions in alignment with the Singapore authorities.”

In addition, Deliveroo offers free accident and injury insurance first introduced in May 2018, which covers personal medical expenses and third-party liability. The platform also does not provide incentives for fast deliveries nor impose time limits lest it would cause accidents.

“Our aim is to deliver food to customers’ doorsteps as efficiently as possible, but never compromising the safety of our riders, pedestrians and other road users.”

The two platforms don’t think the ban will affect deliveries. “Following seven years in Singapore, our solid foundation allows us to adopt an agile response to such announcements,” announced the foodpanda spokesperson, adding that their fleet can manage the gap that e-scooters will leave.

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