E-scooter riders gather to voice frustration over ban at Meet-the-People session in Ang Mo Kio
SINGAPORE: Around 50 electric scooter riders gathered at a Meet-the-People session (MPS) in Ang Mo Kio on Wednesday (Nov 6) night to voice their frustration over the recently announced ban.
The riders, many of whom were wearing green GrabFood delivery uniforms, were hoping to meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who helms the Teck Ghee ward.
A few of them had arrived at 6pm even though the MPS at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 was only scheduled to start at 8pm.
A representative from the group of riders met with an MPS volunteer, while another rider spoke to ward grassroots adviser Dr S Vasoo.
By about 9pm, only around five riders remained.
Speaking to CNA, one delivery rider said she could not do her work because of the ban.
"A lot of the (people) here ... they have children to pay for, instalments to pay for, they have house to pay for. Some of them don't even have a house, they have to rent," said delivery rider Dana.
"So, you suddenly tell us one day, the next day we cannot work. How are we going to pay all these instalments, how are we going to pay all the expenses? It's not possible, physically not possible really," she added.
Ms Kelly Lee, another delivery rider, also said she hoped the Government could help the riders with their predicament.
"(We) hope the Government can help, do something for us. We need this job," said the 46-year-old in Mandarin.
"Let us ride if we follow the rules ... How do I find a job? Today you said ban, tomorrow it takes effect. I can find a job immediately? How many can find jobs?"
She added: "At least provide us some alternatives, like giving food delivery riders wearing uniforms who use compliant e-scooters a licence to ride on footpaths."
READ: Panel recommends e-scooter users be at least 16 years old, pass theory test before riding on public path
E-scooters have been banned from footpaths, with offenders facing fines of up to S$2,000 and jail time of up to three months once the ban is strictly enforced from 2020.
The use of e-scooters remains banned on roads, although such devices are allowed to be used on cycling paths and park connector networks.
There will be an advisory period until Dec 31, during which errant users will be given warnings, to allow e-scooter riders time to adjust.
Earlier on Wednesday, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam - who is an MP for Nee Soon GRC - said he met with 30 PMD riders who had come to see him at his MPS in Yishun.
"They explained their position, their difficulties," said Mr Shanmugam in a Facebook post, adding that while he "understood their position", he would have to convey their views to the Ministry of Transport and to Cabinet.
Additional reporting by Melissa Goh.