2,600 food delivery riders swop e-scooters for e-bikes

About a quarter of the 3,550 people who have successfully applied to tap a $7 million grant to help them give up their e-scooters have opted to switch to bicycles. ST PHOTO: KELLY HUI
About a quarter of the 3,550 people who have successfully applied to tap a $7 million grant to help them give up their e-scooters have opted to switch to bicycles. ST PHOTO: KELLY HUI

About 2,600 food delivery riders have applied to switch from electric scooters to electric bicycles for their work.

They make up almost three-quarters of the 3,550 people who have successfully applied to tap a $7 million grant to help them give up their e-scooters, Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min said in Parliament yesterday.

The grant also allows them to switch to two other options: bicycles and personal mobility aids (PMAs) such as mobility scooters.

In his reply to Mr Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC), Dr Lam said almost all of the remaining one-quarter of the applicants applied to switch to bicycles while fewer than 1 per cent went for PMAs.

The grant was set up in November by the Government and the three major food delivery companies in Singapore: GrabFood, foodpanda and Deliveroo.

It came after an e-scooter ban on footpaths sparked concern among riders that their livelihood would be affected.

Yesterday, Dr Lam told the House there are about 6,120 food delivery riders who qualify for the grant, having done at least one delivery in the 30 days before the ban.

Of the riders who will receive the grant, only 20 per cent have switched to new devices.

"To facilitate the transition, food delivery companies have offered free bicycle rentals to the riders who are waiting for their new devices," said Dr Lam.

 
 
 
 

Deliveroo and foodpanda riders can no longer apply for the grant as the deadline for them was the last day of 2019.

But riders from GrabFood, which has the most e-scooter riders working for the firm, have up to Jan 14 to do so.

Mr Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) and Nominated MP Dennis Tan asked if additional measures will be taken to ensure safety with the growing use of e-bikes.

Dr Lam noted that e-bikes were involved in 21 road accidents between January and November last year. One measure that has been taken to boost safety is a safe riding programme, offered free by the National Trades Union Congress, to help riders transit to e-bikes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2020, with the headline '2,600 food delivery riders swop e-scooters for e-bikes'. Print Edition | Subscribe