Grabfood has warned its Singapore customers that wait times for food would be much longer, as the personal mobility device or PMD ban becomes effective today. After a slew of accidents and violations on the use of such devices, the government has finally decided to ban the use of such small vehicles on footpaths.
Effectively, PMDs can only be used on designated lanes called shared paths. Anyone who uses a running PMD on footpaths and roads from now until December 31, 2019 will only be given warnings, but after this period is done, offenders can be fined up to $2000 and sent to jail for three months.
According to a report by The Straits Times, more than one in three Grabfood riders will be affected by the ban, which can effectively cripple the food courier app company, and leave a lot of contractual workers without recourse.
Still, the company plans to speak to the government regarding the use of PMDs on footpaths
A Grab spokesperson said, “Grab plans to engage the Government in further dialogue on the possibility of allowing delivery-partners who have displayed responsible riding behaviours the option to continue using e-Scooters under certain conditions for delivery.”
Since more food couriers rely on a PMD to be able to do their deliveries, the ban is a blow to their livelihood. Without the device, some couriers have to make deliveries on foot. Grabfood warns customers that they could see more cancellations and longer wait times because of the lack of vehicle. A lot of these couriers have no alternative means of continuing their contractual arrangement with Grab.
Deliveroo and Foodpanda are just chilling
Unlike Grabfood, Deliveroo and Foodpanda aren’t faced with a large number of riders affected by the ban. According to reports, Deliveroo stopped accepting PMD users earlier this year, and that such users only comprised 5% of their fleet. Foodpanda says only 12% of their riders use the device.
Affected food couriers and citizens express, distress, anger, anguish, and delight
The reactions to the ban are both negative and positive, according to various reports. Affected food couriers are predictably angry and saddened by the ban, with one person filming a 10-minute rant against the government for instituting such a new rule.
The man in the video, Kelvin Ho, called on fellow PMD users to contest the ban and have fun with their PMDs until the ban comes into play. He expressed how some reckless drivers should be jailed, but that not everyone should be punished for the actions of a few.
One netizen described how he saw a PMD user break down and cry near his residence, as he went to buy items from a 7-11. The netizen took pity on the man and allegedly said that the man could still use a bike to make deliveries, but the crying person punched the man instead.
PMDs are being listed on Carousell
Some netizens have reported that new listings for used PMDs are going up almost every minute on Carousell, a popular secondhand goods selling platform on the island.
Are you affected by the ban? Let us know what your plans are today in the comments!