SINGAPORE: Deliveroo will stop working with food delivery riders who use e-scooters on footpaths, the company said on Monday (Nov 4).
This comes after Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min announced in Parliament that the use of the devices on footpaths will be banned from Tuesday (Nov 5).
In response to queries from CNA, a Deliveroo spokesperson said the firm works closely with all its riders to ensure that they comply with road safety rules and guidelines.
“We sent out communications to all riders today to inform them of the new regulation. Should any rider be found using an e-scooter on footpaths after Nov 5, we will stop working with them.”
Deliveroo said it expects “minimal impact” to its operations, noting that personal mobility devices (PMD) and e-bikes make up 5 per cent of its entire delivery team of about 6,000 riders.
The spokesperson added that Deliveroo had stopped taking on PMD delivery riders in May, in light of regulatory changes and public concern.
“All riders who join Deliveroo are required to complete a programme of introductory road safety guidance, as part of comprehensive onboarding sessions,” the spokesperson said, adding that Deliveroo works closely with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and attends regular meetings with the active mobility team to promote safe riding.
Materials on the latest safety information, tips and regulations are also provided to new riders, while weekly newsletters are dispatched to all riders, the spokesperson said.
During his speech in Parliament, Dr Lam noted that the authorities are aware that banning e-scooters on footpaths could have an impact on people such as food delivery riders, who use the devices for work.
However, he noted, less than 30 per cent of Deliveroo and Foodpanda’s riders use e-scooters, and LTA will work with such companies to help their riders switch to motorcycles or bicycles instead.
“Safety is of utmost importance for Deliveroo and we are speaking with our current riders on PMDs on how to best support them moving forward, including the possibility of helping them to transition to different vehicles if they prefer,” Deliveroo said.
LONGER WAIT FOR DELIVERIES
However, PMD Retailers Association of Singapore president Wilson Seng noted that those who currently use e-scooters to do deliveries may not hold a motorcycle licence, or be able to afford one.
A Grab spokesperson said that while the firm respects the decision made by the Government, more than one in three GrabFood delivery riders use e-scooters to fulfil orders and may not have access to other modes of transport.
“Grab plans to engage the Government in further dialogue on the possibility of allowing delivery-partners who have displayed responsible riding behaviour the option to continue using e-scooters under certain conditions for delivery,” she said.
The firm is committed to helping affected riders, and will reach out to them by the end of this week, she added.
“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.”
ALTERNATIVE MODES OF TRANSPORT
In response to CNA queries, Foodpanda said on Tuesday that it does not "foresee any significant impact" on customers' deliveries.
A spokesperson for the firm said about 12 per cent of its 8,000-strong delivery team in Singapore use PMDs and that it is working with partners to offer "a change in mode of transport at an affordable rate".
"This will also be offered to PMD riders across Singapore, including those from other food delivery companies, who may be affected by the new regulation," the spokesperson added.
"The safety of our riders and pedestrians on the roads is of utmost importance to Foodpanda Singapore," the spokesperson said.
"We are working in close partnership with the LTA to ensure that our rider fleet is compliant with LTA regulations.
"In addition, we also have an extensive onboarding process when new riders join the fleet aimed at ensuring adherence to LTA regulations, safe riding practices, as well as ongoing refresher sessions in alignment with the Singapore authorities."