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Singapore—In the light of the ban on e-scooters on public footpaths announced in Parliament earlier this week, the PMD users most affected by the new ruling have sought assistance over their concerns for loss of livelihood.

On Tuesday night, the first day that the new ruling took effect, around 30 food delivery riders, who are among those most affected by the ban, met with Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam at his Meet-the-People session. Mr Shanmugam is the Member of Parliament for the Nee Soon GRC.

A second meeting with an MP occurred on Thursday night, November 7. More than 60 people who use Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) for their work with Grab, Deliveroo, KFC and Food Panda met with Desmond Lee at his Meet-the-People session. Mr Lee is the Minister for Social and Family Development and MP for Jurong GRC.

According to a Facebook post that Mr Lee posted, the PMD riders “shared their concerns over the impact that the latest rules on PMD usage has had on their livelihoods.”

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Some of the riders are concerned about the installment payments they still need to make when they purchased their PMDs.

As with what Mr Shanmugam did on Tuesday night, Mr Lee also assured the PMD riders that he would bring up the issues that they raised with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) “who will strive to balance public safety and the livelihoods of food delivery riders.”

Moreover, Mr Lee added that “colleagues from the NTUC Labour Movement as well as a team of activists” were also present at the Meet-the-People session, and they “helped to take down details of PMD users who needed assistance to address immediate concerns.”

Mr Lee also said that he ended the session with one-on-one talks with certain ones of the food delivery riders, who desired to talk about their concerns in private with the MP.

Met around 60 PMD users who work for food delivery companies such as Grab, Deliveroo, KFC and Food Panda this evening,…

Posted by Desmond Lee on Thursday, 7 November 2019

While many Singaporeans applauded the e-scooter ban, others  have expressed concern over the new ruling, especially on behalf of food delivery riders, since it directly affects their means of livelihood.

The biggest reason for the ban is public safety, given the rising number of PMD-related incidents in the recent past, including a fatality that occurred when a PMD rider collided with a 65-year-old woman riding a bike. The woman later succumbed to the injuries she sustained in the collision.

Dr Lam Pin Min, the Senior Minister of State who announced that e-scooters would be banned in Singapore’s public footpaths, wrote in a Facebook post on November 4,

“We have been having extensive discussions about where PMDs should be heading. It is an emotive topic – some are for it, while others have called for a total ban immediately.
Singapore is land-scarce, and with many competing needs, it is practically impossible to dedicate separate paths for PMDs everywhere.
Despite major efforts to educate safe and gracious riding, irresponsible riding and accidents involving e-scooters have risen over the past few years, leading to injuries and even loss of lives.
After a month-long review, e-scooters will be prohibited on all footpaths with effect tomorrow, 5 Nov. What this means is that e-scooter users will have to dismount and push their devices on the footpaths, before they get to the cycling and Park Connector Networks where e-scooters are still allowed.
It has not been a straightforward nor a easy decision, but public safety always comes first and should never be at the expense of the young and elderly amongst us.
We hope to have Singaporeans’ understanding and support on this new policy and would urge all PMD users to continue to exercise safe and responsible behaviour when using their devices on other permissible areas such as cycling paths and park connector networks (PCNs).”
/ TISG

Read related: Food delivery riders have a “good, civil” meeting with Minister Shanmugam concerning e-scooter ban

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