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Startups in a jam as brakes pulled on e-scooters

IT was looming large but when it finally struck, the blow was still keenly felt by startups and businesses in the last-mile and delivery sector in Singapore that rely on the ubiquitous electric scooter to drive their operations.

Following a spate of high-profile accidents, e-scooters, already prohibited from roads, have been banned from footpaths from Tuesday, confining the personal mobility devices (PMDs) to 440 kilometres of cycling paths islandwide, instead of the additional 5,500 kilometres of footpaths riders could use before. Those caught flouting the rules can be fined up to S$2,000 and/or jailed for up to three months if convicted.

While e-scooter operators and food delivery firms have been putting in place contingency plans as pressure increasingly mounted on the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to clamp down, there is no hiding from the fact that there is a cost to be counted as plans are shifted, and business models and operations disrupted.

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