GrabFood warns customers of longer wait with e-scooter ban on footpaths; Deliveroo to stop working with errant riders

There are about 7,000 food delivery riders in Singapore who use e-scooters, the majority believed to be working for Grab. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Customers should be prepared for longer waits and even having their orders cancelled when a ban on the use of electric scooters on public footpaths kicks in on Tuesday (Nov 5), said food delivery provider GrabFood.

Meanwhile, Deliveroo said that it will stop working with errant riders who continue to use their e-scooters on footpaths.

Grab's GrabFood is one of the three major food delivery companies in Singapore, alongside Foodpanda and Deliveroo.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, Grab said that more than one in three of its delivery riders rely on e-scooters to carry out their jobs.

"With the new direction, affected partners will have to consider other modes of transport, which may not be readily available to them," a Grab spokesman said.

"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," she added.

There are about 7,000 food delivery riders in Singapore who use e-scooters, the majority believed to be working for Grab.

The firm told ST that it respects the decision made by the authorities but will engage the Government in further dialogue to see if it would be possible to allow riders who have displayed responsible riding behaviours to continue using their e-scooters under certain conditions.

Grab will reach out to all affected riders by the end of the week.

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As for Deliveroo, its spokesman told ST: "We anticipate minimal impact to customers' deliveries, given that personal mobility device (PMD) and power-assisted bicycle riders currently constitute 5 per cent of our overall fleet of 6,000 riders."

Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min, who announced the tougher regulations in Parliament on Monday, said that the authorities will work with Workforce Singapore (WSG) to help riders who may need to find new jobs as result of the ban.

In a statement, WSG said it has a range of programmes and services 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".

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Mr Richard Lim, WSG's director of career services division added: "Job seekers can also tap WSG's, a smart job search portal that can match individuals to relevant jobs based on their skills, including jobs in adjacent sectors or industries."

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