Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Nearly 2,500 e-scooter delivery riders have so far applied for trade-in grant: LTA

SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has received close to 2,500 applications under the e-scooter trade-in grant (eTG) scheme rolled out by the three major food delivery companies as of Thursday (Nov 21), it said in a Facebook post on Friday.

Nearly 2,500 e-scooter delivery riders have so far applied for trade-in grant: LTA

Almost 2,500 electric scooter riders with food delivery firms including Foodpanda (pictured) have applied for the e-scooter trade-in grant, the Land Transport Authority said on Friday (Nov 22).

SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has received close to 2,500 applications under the e-scooter trade-in grant (eTG) scheme rolled out by the three major food delivery companies as of Thursday (Nov 21), it said in a Facebook post on Friday.

Since the applications started coming in last Friday, LTA has approved most of them and is processing the remaining applications “progressively”, it said.

GrabFood and Foodpanda said on Friday that about one-third of their riders who are eligible for the scheme have applied.

Deliveroo said that 10 per cent of its eligible riders have applied for the grant, and most of these applications have been approved by the LTA.

Some food delivery riders, however, are worried that they will not be reimbursed should they be unable to get their power-assisted bicycle (PAB) — which have been in high demand — before the application period ends.

A Deliveroo spokesperson has encouraged riders to seek alternatives such as bicycles.

Mr Ang Hin Kee, Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency, on the other hand, has questioned if LTA could have imposed tighter controls over its implementation to prevent some companies from potentially “gaming the system”.

Mr Ang made the comment to TODAY in response to queries on Nov 17.

In response, LTA has since said that tighter controls in the long-term were not necessary, as eTG is a short-term scheme.

The nationwide S$7 million trade-in grant was announced by the Government on Nov 8, amid a huge outcry among retailers and food delivery riders over a ban on e-scooters on footpaths which kicked in on Nov 5.

LTA is working with food delivery companies GrabFood, Foodpanda and Deliveroo to help their riders. About 7,000 food delivery riders have been using e-scooters as their transport mode.

The schemes differ from company to company on the conditions set for riders to access the full grants, but in general, qualifying riders looking to purchase PABs can receive a full grant of S$1,000 and those purchasing bicycles, the full grant of S$600.

The application period for the eTG lasts until Dec 31, and riders are encouraged to trade in their devices before that.

PAB SUPPLY SHORTAGE

A former e-scooter food delivery rider with both GrabFood and Deliveroo, who wants to be known only as Mr Chua, said that he applied for the grant because he would “get back more money” than the S$100 incentive for disposing of his e-scooter. Until Dec 31, the LTA is offering an incentive of S$100 for qualifying personal mobility device (PMD) riders who drop off their devices at designated centres.

The 39-year-old had applied last Friday to trade in his e-scooter for a bicycle. The application has since been approved and he is in the process of purchasing his bicycle.

Though riding a bicycle would mean he will deliver fewer orders, it is something that he said he has to live with.

“I will try to adjust by either working more hours or changing delivery zones,” he said.

Mr Chua said he did not apply for a PAB because there is “a shortage of PABs in the market”. He is afraid that he cannot get his hands on the vehicle before the end of the year, when the application period for the eTG ends.

Mr Jim Hon, who is yet to apply for the grant, has similar concerns — that he can receive reimbursements only upon presenting his new vehicle for trade-in, be it a bicycle or a PAB.

The 37-year old plans to trade his e-scooter in for a PAB, but is holding out until he receives more details from the food delivery companies. He delivers for Foodpanda and GrabFood.

“For now, I cannot get the PAB I intend to get, since by the time the stock arrives, it will be after Dec 31.”

In response to TODAY's queries, a Deliveroo spokesperson said on Friday that for riders to receive the grant, the company must have received the rider’s old e-scooter and verified it, and have checked the new PAB before it is used.

All PABs must be checked by Deliveroo before Dec 31.

“We understand that there may be special circumstances, such as PABs being in short supply. In these instances, we will support and encourage our riders to consider alternative vehicles such as bicycles,” the spokesperson said.

TODAY has sought clarifications from Grab and Foodpanda on their policies on this issue.

‘NO RIDER SHOULD BE LEFT WITHOUT FULL FUNDING’:MP ANG HIN KEE

Speaking to TODAY after the eTG applications began, Mr Ang, who is also the assistant director-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said that LTA should have required that the food delivery companies comply with a “minimum standard” on funding for the riders.

This can be regulated if the food delivery companies were licensed by LTA, he suggested.

Given the amount that food companies currently choose to co-pay is up to them, some riders may face tougher criteria, said Mr Ang.

“If any (food delivery company) wants to do better than the minimum (standard), they are welcome,” he said.

When TODAY approached LTA with these suggestions, it said that the eTG is a short-term scheme and that “there is no need for LTA to set up a long-term licensing framework for food delivery companies over this”.

“LTA will continue to work closely with the food delivery companies on the administration of the grant and closely monitor the distribution of the grant.”

LTA also said it will be matching dollar for dollar the companies' funding to “further reduce the transition costs for the affected riders”.

Mr Ang said, however, that beyond this, LTA should chip in the maximum sum if riders are willing to top up their contribution to the maximum.

For instance, if a food company is willing to chip in S$400, LTA should be willing to put in the maximum of S$500 if the riders are willing to top up the S$100 difference — adding up to the total of S$1,000.

This is because regardless of how many deliveries riders did from Oct 9 to Nov 7, they still own an e-scooter regardless and are affected by the ban.

Mr Ang also pointed out that given the different schemes, riders may be liable to feel short-changed.

“Preferably, whether rider A, B or C, regardless of which operator platform… the criteria should be the same,” he said.

Foodpanda’s scheme involves buying e-bikes for its riders, while Deliveroo and GrabFood will only disburse funds to its riders.

Among other differences, the criteria riders have to meet to receive full funding vary between companies. For GrabFood and Deliveroo, those who complete at least 20 orders from Oct 9 to Nov 7 will receive the full grant, but for Foodpanda it is 100 working hours in the same period.

LTA said that the amount of grant funding provided to riders and the criteria the riders have to meet are up to the companies.

“The eTG scheme is being administered by the food delivery companies, which are best-placed to identify which applicants are bona fide food delivery riders who use e-scooters for their livelihoods before the e-scooter prohibition on footpaths was announced,” it said.

Related topics

ETG Scheme PMD trade-in e-scooter ban Deliveroo Foodpanda GrabFood

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa