Singapore—More than a month after the announcement in Parliament that e-scooters would be banned on public footpaths, Grab has announced that more than 45 percent of their food delivery riders are availing of a grant to trade in their PMDs (personal mobility devices).
However, according to Andrew Chan, Grab Singapore’s head of transport, this does not mean that the rest of the company’s riders, who have not yet applied for the trade-in grant, are continuing to use their PMDs.
On Wednesday, December 11, The New Paper (TNP) reports him as saying, “There are partners who have decided that this may not be the right vocation for them anymore… and they have chosen to move on.”
The announcement of the e-scooter ban was followed by an announcement of a S$7 million e-scooter Trade-in Grant (eTG), provided by the Government along with Grab, Foodpanda and Deliveroo, the three biggest food delivery companies in Singapore.
This grant was launched in order to aid food delivery riders who primarily use e-scooters to make the switch to other means of transport, such as bicycles, power-assisted bicycles (PABs), or personal mobility aids (PMAs) such as motorised wheelchairs.
In the weeks after the announcement was made, over 45 percent of Grab’s food delivery riders who were qualified for the grant put in an application for the trade-in. From among them, over 90 percent of the applications have been approved.
As for Foodpanda, the company said that three-quarters of their riders have applied for the trade-in grant, from which over 70 percent have gotten approval.
Grab also announced in a statement on December 11 that its food delivery riders have been given a three-month extension for applying for the trade-in grant, saying that instead of December 31, PMD riders now have until March 31 to hand in their applications.
A representative for the company said the extension would give the food delivery riders “more time to submit supporting claim documents and trade in their Land Transport Authority (LTA)-registered e-scooters”.
In related news, a new safety training programme for all qualified food delivery riders in the country was announced on Wednesday as well, an initiative from the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).
For these courses, food delivery riders who are deemed eligible will be getting a subsidy of up to 90 percent from NTUC and its partners. Grab food delivery riders will be allowed to take these courses at no cost.
The programme consists of modules that tackle various topics such as safety, service, digital skills and mindset change. NTUC expects that over 2,000 food delivery riders will be taking the course in the coming months.
The courses, which began on Monday, December 9, are made up of five seven-hour modules.
Foodpanda said it actually began training its food delivery riders for safety purposes even before the e-scooter ban was announced. A spokesperson for the company said, “To ensure that we maintain a reliable and safe rider fleet, we have been working with the LTA since July this year to conduct safe riding programmes for our fleet. Through theory and practical sessions, riders will be briefed and trained on safety riding knowledge,” TODAY reports. -/TISG