SINGAPORE - Food delivery riders affected by an e-scooter ban that is likely to impact their earnings can apply for vouchers and training assistance from the National Trades Union Congress.
NTUC said it is launching two separate schemes to help ease the transition for e-scooter riders switching to alternatives like electric bicycles (power-assisted bikes), now that e-scooters are no longer allowed on public footpaths.
The union said on Friday (Nov 15) that eligible riders who are NTUC union members can apply for short-term financial assistance to help pay for daily essentials like food.
Help will be given in the form of one-time Kopitiam food court and NTUC FairPrice gift cards, valued at either $100 or $200.
The U FSE (Freelancers and Self-Employed) Short-term Relief Fund is to help eligible delivery riders facing financial difficulties because they are no longer able to rely on their e-scooters to make deliveries.
They may also be unable to take on alternative employment because of constraints, such as having pre-existing medical conditions or being the primary caregiver to children or the elderly, said the union.
Riders who are not NTUC members can sign up for membership between Nov 19 and Dec 31 to enjoy NTUC's new initiatives. Membership fees, at $9 a month, will be reimbursed to them after three months, the union added.
For those who wish to continue delivering food and are eligible to trade in their e-scooters under a scheme funded by the Government and food delivery companies, curated training programmes covering areas such as safety, service management and first aid will be available.
The NTUC said it will also help those who are seeking to switch jobs amid the uncertainty surrounding e-scooters, with its Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) recommending appropriate re-training programmes for these riders.
The latest initiatives are on top of the Government's efforts to ease the transition for some 7,000 food delivery riders affected by the overnight ban, which effectively confines e-scooter usage to 440km of cycling paths.
Before Nov 5, riders had full use of the 5,500km of footpaths islandwide.
On Nov 8, the Government announced that a $7 million grant had been set up for food delivery riders with e-scooters to switch to e-bikes, bicycles or personal mobility aids (PMAs).
Each rider will receive up to $1,000.