SINGAPORE: More than one-third of the 7,000 food delivery riders who use e-scooters have applied to trade in their devices, one week after the S$7 million e-scooter Trade-in Grant (eTG) scheme took effect.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Friday (Nov 22) that the three main food delivery companies here - Deliveroo, Foodpanda and GrabFood - have received almost 2,500 applications for the grant as of Thursday (Nov 21).
"LTA has approved most of them, and we are processing the remaining applications progressively," said the authority.
The grant, funded equally by the Government and the three main food delivery companies in Singapore, is aimed at getting food delivery riders who have been using personal mobility devices (PMDs) to switch to bicycles, power-assisted bicycles or personal mobility aids.
The initiative came after the Government banned the use of e-scooters on footpaths, sparking those who rely on such devices to make a living to gather at Meet-the-People sessions across Singapore to speak to Members of Parliament.
Announced on Nov 8, each rider can receive up to S$1,000 if they trade their e-scooter in for an e-bike or up to S$600 for a bicycle. Those eligible for personal mobility aids such as motorised wheelchairs can get up to S$1,000 as well.
In response to media queries, a Grab spokesperson said that LTA has confirmed that more than 30 per cent of its GrabFood delivery riders who use PMDs are eligible for the grant.
"Grab expects more applications for the eTG scheme to be submitted in the next few weeks," she added.
Meanwhile, Foodpanda - which has more than 900 PMD riders in its fleet - said more than one-third of its riders have received approval from LTA for the grant and are expected to begin trading in their devices.
Deliveroo did not reveal figures, but said it expects more applications in "the coming days and weeks".
The three companies have tied the eligibility of the grant to the productivity of their riders.
For example, Foodpanda will provide riders with more than 100 hours of deliveries between Oct 9 and Nov 7 with a free e-bike if they trade in their e-scooters, while both Deliveroo and GrabFood require that riders completed at least 20 deliveries between Oct 9 and Nov 7 to receive the full grant.
In a post on its Facebook page, the LTA noted the grant is part of a transition assistance package for affected riders, which also includes career advice, job matching services and short-term financial assistance.
"As we work to restore safety on our footpaths which has been welcomed by pedestrians, we will continue to engage and provide support to those whose livelihoods are affected by the ban on the riding of e-scooters."