Singapore — Delivery service GrabFood has asked for customers’ patience now that a ban on a ban on the use of electric scooters on public footpaths is in place.
The ban may well mean that customers will have to wait longer for their food deliveries, the company said.
In related news, Grab’s rival delivery service, Deliveroo, announced that their riders who insist on using their e-scooters on footpaths despite the ban will no longer have a place in their company.
Grab told The Straits Times (ST) that over one in three of the company’s delivery staff use e-scooters on the job.
A spokesman for Grab told ST, “With the new direction, affected partners will have to consider other modes of transport, which may not be readily available to them.”
The company asked for customers’ patience and understanding at this time.
“During this period, we would like to seek consumers’ understanding that they may have to wait longer for their orders or may experience an increase in cancellations by delivery-partners who may not be able to cover the delivery distance on foot.”
ST reports that there are around 7,000 people who deliver food using e-scooters, most of whom very likely work for Grab.
And while Grab respects the decision from the Government to disallow electric scooters on public footpaths, the company told ST that it wishes to dialogue with the Government in the future to examine whether its delivery staff who use their e-scooters responsibly can be allowed to continue to do so under specific conditions.
The company plans on speaking to all of its affected delivery staff by the end of this week.
On its part, Deliveroo told ST that it expects the effect of the ban on its customers to be “minimal.”
“We anticipate minimal impact to customers’ deliveries, given that personal mobility device (PMD) and power-assisted bicycle riders currently constitute five percent of our overall fleet of 6,000 riders.
Safety is of utmost importance for Deliveroo and we are speaking with our current riders on PMDs on how to best support them moving forward, including the possibility of helping them to transition to different vehicles if they prefer,” a spokesperson for the company said.
As for the third big food delivery service in Singapore, Food Panda, it says that only 12 percent of its delivery staff use e-scooters.
Lam Pin Min, the country’s Senior Minister of State for Transport, made the ban public in Parliament on Monday, November 4. He said that the government will collaborate with Workforce Singapore (WSG) for rendering assistance to any rider who may have lost their job due to the ban.
According to WSG, it is equipped to help Singaporeans in their job search “including those who may be affected by this announcement such as food delivery riders who use e-scooters as their main form of transportation”.
“Jobs seekers can also tap WSG’s MyCareersFuture.sg, a smart job search portal that can match individuals to relevant jobs based on their skills, including jobs in adjacent sectors or industries,” said Richard Lim, WSG’s director of career services division.