Singapore’s land authority announced late Friday afternoon a S$7 million grant to help food delivery riders switch out their now-useless e-scooters for electric bicycles or motorized wheelchairs.
The announcement came following a strong backlash to the abrupt ban of e-scooters from sidewalks, including dozens of food couriers who took their grievances directly to government officials this week,
Under the Transition Assistance Package, each rider will receive up to S$1,000 for a power-assisted bicycle or S$600 for a bicycle, while those with disabilities and are eligible to use personal mobility aids can receive up to S$1,000, the Land Transport Authority announced.
The riders can apply for the grants by contacting the food delivery companies they work for – mainly Deliveroo, Foodpanda and GrabFood – before Dec. 31.
“We recognise that the ban on the use of e-scooters on footpaths has an impact on food delivery riders, especially those who rely on these devices for their livelihoods,” the authority wrote. “Riders are reminded to ride safely and abide by safety rules, regardless of their mode of transport.”
Government schemes are available for those who need financial assistance. Government organizations like the NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute and Workforce Singapore can also help those thinking of switching careers.
Delivery riders this week have been hounding MPs by showing up at the neighborhood meetings to air their frustrations with the week-old blanket ban imposed on e-scooters from all sidewalks. Those who violate the ban risk a S$2,000 (US$1,790) fine or three months in jail.
There are about 100,000 registered e-scooters in Singapore and around 7,000 of them are being used to deliver food. The three major food delivery firms in Singapore are Deliveroo, Foodpanda, and GrabFood. On Tuesday, a day after the ban was announced, more than 100 riders were issued warnings, the Land Transport Authority revealed.
Other than rolling up on neighborhood meetups, tens of thousands have signed an online petition urging the government to lift the ban.
This is a developing story and may be updated without notice.
This article, Singapore sets aside S$7 million to allow food delivery riders trade in their e-scooters, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!