Top 5 PMD-friendly places to live after the E-scooter Ban

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Top 5 PMD-friendly places to live after the E-scooter Ban
Lo and behold, the Singapore government has spoken: Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs), including all e-scooters, will be banned from using all footpaths from 5 November 2019 (Tuesday) onwards, in addition to an existing road ban. Riders may only use PMDs on designated shared paths, cycling paths and the Park Connector Network (PCN).
If you’re caught flouting the new PMD ban, the penalties can be heavy: errant riders can be fined up to $2,000 and/or jailed up to three months if convicted. The ban from footpaths does not affect bicycles, kick-scooters and personal mobility aids such as motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
This move has already caused an uproar among PMD riders, especially those who rely on them for a living. Although LTA and NParks have been working together to implement cycling and shared paths that are legal for riding e-scooters on, many HDB towns and places in Singapore still do not have that kind of infrastructure, meaning PMD riders now cannot get from A to B without flouting the law.
Luckily, there are a few HDB estates in Singapore where a network of cycling/shared paths have already been completed. Better still, a kind anonymous netizen has taken the effort to create a map that details “all the information” on PCN paths as well as shared and cycling paths in the whole of Singapore.
Using this information, we’ve come up with the five best towns to live (or move to) in Singapore if you want to continue scooting on your e-scooter or e-bike, be it to work or just around the neighbourhood.

#1 Town to Beat the PMD Ban: Bedok

PMD connections to the CBD, Paya Lebar, East Coast Park, Marine Parade
Scoot and ride: Bedok MRT (EWL), Bedok North MRT (DTL), Bedok Reservoir MRT (DTL)
Bedok cycling path PMD
The sprawling heartland suburb of Bedok has been officially a cycling town since 2018, with over 13km of dedicated cycling paths on top of shared paths that PMDs can legally travel on. To facilitate easy recognition and bolster safety, the lanes are also painted red to distinguish them from footpaths.
PMD riders can enjoy a leisurely 15-kilometre ride to the CBD via East Coast Park which, with the 10km/h speed limit, may be too long for many for a work commute. That said, those working at the up-and-coming business hub at Paya Lebar have it easier, as it is within 3 to 6km of Bedok.
If you live in Bedok, you can ride to the famous Fengshan Market & Food Centre for your supper fix, and the Bedok Reservoir Park for a sunset date. But we reckon most Bedok riders will end up at East Coast Park most days, given it also connects to Marine Parade and Katong, where a ton of F&B and entertainment options await.

#2 Town to Beat the PMD Ban: Yishun

PMD connections to Woodlands Industrial Estate, Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio
Scoot and ride: Khatib MRT (NSL), Yishun MRT (NSL)
Lower Seletar Park Yishun PMD
Yishun is well-connected with cycling paths. In fact, the entire Yishun Ring Road is PMD-friendly, making cross-town travel a breeze. Besides granting riders accessibility to Northpoint City Shopping Centre, foodies will also relish riding to and from the renowned hawker centre at Chong Pang.
For nature and recreation, rides will be able to scoot to Yishun Park, Lower Seletar Reservoir Park, the ORTO lifestyle precinct and Sembawang Park.
While riding to work might be too much of a stretch for most, we foresee most people will use PMD as a last-mile transport between their homes and the nearest MRT station.

#3 Town to Beat the PMD Ban: Punggol

PMD connections to Sengkang, Pasir Ris, Loyang, Changi Village, Aviation Park, Tai Seng
Scoot and ride: Khatib MRT (NSL), Yishun MRT (NSL)
Punggol PMD park connector
Arguably an e-scooter lover’s paradise, the poster boy/girl of HDB towns is also one of the most PMD-friendly, although the iconic Punggol Waterway Park sees its fair share of errant night-time riders blasting poorly chosen music. (Perhaps there should be a PMD music ban.)
Nevertheless, this is one of the most scenic towns for a e-scooter ride with three rivers and a coast to cruise along, not to mention Coney Island. The eastern side of Punggol is also home to a collection of restaurants and cafes, as well as a golf driving range.
We especially like the Lorong Halus park connector connection to Pasir Ris, although this area is deserted and prone to speeding riders. This path gives Punggol residents access to Pasir Ris Park and the East.

#4 Town to Beat the PMD Ban: Pasir Ris

PMD connections to Tampines, Punggol, Loyang, Changi Village, Aviation Park, Tai Seng
Scoot and ride: Pasir Ris (EWL)
Pasir Ris PMD Park Connector
As the first cycling town in Singapore, the coastal town of Pasir Ris appeals to laid back folks who enjoy the sea breeze and, like Punggol, the joy of getting a seat at the end of the MRT line every time. So, it’s great for folks who ride their e-scooters for recreation, as well as those who take the MRT to work.
At the same time, it’s also convenient to ride commute to work via PMD if your workplace is at Loyang Industrial Estate, or Aviation Park.
Live in Pasir Ris and you can choose to head to Changi Village Hawker Centre for your food fix, or neighbouring Punggol for scenic cruising on your PMD. Getting to IKEA, Courts and Giant megastores at Tampines North is also easy, while you can also crash parties at Tampines, home to three shopping malls and the awesome One Tampines Hub.
Then again, you can settle for the mangroves and rustic charms of the ever-popular Pasir Ris Park and the family entertainment of Wild Wild Wet, Downtown East and the huge fishing pond at Pasir Ris Town Park.

#5 Town to Beat the PMD Ban: Jurong East

PMD connections to Jurong Central, Jurong Point, International Business Hub, Jurong Industrial Estate, Jurong Lake Gardens
Scoot and ride: Jurong East MRT, Chinese Garden MRT, Lakeside MRT, Boon Lay MRT, Pioneer MRT (all on the EWL)
Lakeside Gardens Jurong Lake
Jurong needs no introduction for being the de facto candidate for Singapore’s second CBD, with a massive hub at Jurong East that would make Orchard Road envious. That said, getting here would mean an unenjoyable feeder bus rides for residents who don’t have a PMD, given that the action actually happens at one end of the town (the Eastern end) and not at the centre like Yishun, Pasir Ris and Punggol.
The network of bike paths at Jurong East not only facilitates more seamless travel to malls like Westgate, JEM, IMM and Jurong Point, it also serves as a vital link—together with the East-West MRT Line and feeder buses—between residents and Jurong Industrial Estate, by far the largest industrial estate in Singapore. Many find riding on their e-scooters the fastest way to get into (and out of) the labyrinth depths of the Jurong Industrial Estate.
Nature loving Singaporeans have no lack of options to explore on their PMDs, Jurong Lake Gardens is the one and only national gardens in the heartlands and will progressively open from 2019 onwards.

Upcoming cycling and PMD-friendly towns

The LTA has also announced that five more HDB towns will get more than 40km of cycling paths over the next five years:
  • Woodlands
  • Toa Payoh
  • Choa Chu Kang
  • Geylang
  • Queenstown

PMD users and pedestrians, can we live and let live?

Even though the e-scooter ban has been implemented, the tension between pedestrians and PMD users does not seem to have toned down. A recent incident in Yishun, where a pedestrian not only refused to give way to a delivery e-scooter rider using a cycling path, but subsequently assaulted him when he tried to pass, goes to show that it is hate and intolerance that we’ve to truly get rid of—not PMDs.
With more footpaths making way for shared paths, and cycling paths becoming an increasingly common sight in Singapore, the gripes behind the PMD footpath ban should fade away with time. And if you’re a frequent rider who devastated at the ban, you can always look at relocating to a town where you’ll feel more at home.
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