SINGAPORE: Gojek drivers will now be able to provide food delivery services to supplement their income, through a partnership with Deliveroo.
Announcing the move on Monday (May 18), ride-hailing operator Gojek said that its drivers will be allowed to deliver food in areas around central Singapore, such as Bukit Merah, Toa Payoh and Geylang.
“By strengthening Deliveroo’s supply of delivery riders, the company can better cater to the increased demand for food delivery during the current ‘circuit breaker’ period, when more people are eating at home,” Gojek said in a media release.
This comes after Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan announced in March that taxi and private-hire car drivers would be allowed to provide food and grocery deliveries, with a spike in demand for such services and reduced demand for point-to-point transport.
Grab - which has had its own food delivery service, GrabFood, since 2018 - has been conducting a trial with the Land Transport Authority to allow its drivers to provide on-demand parcel and food delivery services since last September.
Taxi operators ComfortDelGro and SMRT have both also previously announced tie-ups to provide food deliveries, with ComfortDelGro also launching its own delivery service called ComfortDelivery.
Gojek also announced it was partnering with education financing startup Advo and tech-driven food and beverage firm Ebb & Flow to provide more than 2,000 meals to vulnerable and financially needy single-parent households in Singapore.
Dubbed #FeedaFam, the effort will support beneficiaries of charity organisation HCSA Dayspring Spin.
“These are challenging times for everyone. We are glad that our driver-partners can do good by delivering meals to families in need and gain supplemental earnings through providing delivery services,” said Gojek Singapore general manager Lien Choong Luen.
He added that the firm will “continue to find ways to look after our driver-partners and support the wider Singapore community”.
READ: From taxi driver to transport ambassador: How Singapore’s cabbies are navigating the COVID-19 downturn
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the incomes of taxi and private-hire drivers, with some noting that their income had dropped by more than 70 per cent in recent months.
In Monday’s release, Gojek said that it has distributed more than S$30,000 in grocery vouchers to its drivers in Singapore through its Gojek Partner Support Fund, which was established in March.
Gojek has previously spoken of plans to launch a food delivery service in Singapore, although it has not anounced a timeline for doing so. Gojek has a food delivery service in its home market of Indonesia.
During an interview last year, Gojek co-CEO Kevin Aluwi said that it was researching how it could provide a different food delivery service in Singapore, considering the concentrated local market situation.
When asked if the partnership with Deliveroo marks a first step towards offering delivery services in Singapore in the longer term, Mr Lien would only say that Gojek was "continuing to explore opportunities to expand our services in Singapore and what a sustainable approach to this might look like".