PMD riders at Lam Pin Min dialogue session: We don’t want to switch to PAB, bicycles
They provided legitimate reasons why they don't want to do so.
On Nov. 12, around 280 PMD riders attended a dialogue session with Senior Minister of State Lam Pin Min at the Anchorvale Community Club.
All of the riders that Mothership spoke to before the dialogue session were unconvinced about taking up the e-scooter Trade-in-Grant to switch to a bicycle or power assisted bicycle (PAB).
Under this grant, riders will get between S$600 and S$1000 to switch to alternative forms of transport.
“You are seriously trying to terrorise us, not just with the rules and regulations but with public sentiments,” said a 44-year-old male delivery rider who declined to be named.
Another 33-year-old part-time GrabFood delivery rider who uses her PMD daily for commute to and fro work also wants to have the ban lifted because she is not eligible for the grant.
This is because, as a part-time GrabFood delivery-partner, she is not eligible for the grant (to be eligible, riders have to have logged a certain number of delivery trips in the past month).
But even if she is eligible for the grant, she doesn’t want to switch to a PAB.
“Because I have a 3-year-old child with me, it’s not safe to be on the road most of the time. Because we are much more prone to accidents. That is why I prefer to have the ban lifted.”
Another female rider we spoke to agreed that switching to a PAB on the road is not feasible for mothers like her.
According to her, a PAB cannot carry a baby or any second passenger. When her baby cries or acts up, she cannot stop on the road to attend to her crying child.
Another female rider insisted that her PMD is no different from an e-bike so she questioned why the former cannot be used on the roads. And having paid so much for her PMD, she does not want to take up the grant which only pays up to S$1,000.
“I bought this for S$1,399. I bought it less than a month back. Even if you give me $1,000, I also lose S$400,” she said, adding that the roads are too dangerous to use an e-bike.
18-year old C.J finds the trade in grant rather pointless because “when people ride dangerously, it will still result in accidents”.
He delivers food on the side, while juggling his own studies. This arrangement allows him to earn a “high income” and in order to continue that, he wants the footpath ban lifted.
39-year-old Serene has been a delivery rider for four months and finds it quite similar to PMDs. However, she says that e-bikes should not be used on the roads because its is dangerous.
“By right you shouldn’t push them on the road. Every day, on the roads, there are a lot of accidents. Every day, car, motorcycle, lorry, even bicycles can cause deaths. PMD only caused one dead case.”
When asked if she would switch to a PAB, Serene said she would do it if the government insists, but she doesn’t want to do so because of the danger.
16-year-old Jayrius, a GrabFood delivery rider, said that the footpath ban was too abrupt.
Because of an injury in his right leg, he cannot pedal for long hours. So, he is not thinking of switching to a bicycle or PAB.
Besides, he does not think that the grant is enough to cover the cost of his PMD which was customised to accommodate his physique. It cost him over S$1,000.
While many of the PMD riders we spoke to said that they do not want to switch to bicycles or e-bikes, a number of them said that they will do so if they have no other choice.
Top images by Joshua Lee.
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