A group of Hong Kong couriers have stopped accepting orders for five private housing estates in Kai Tak for fear of being fined for illegal parking. They have urged estates to provide temporary locations for motorbikes as public parking is not available nearby.
About 20 staff from the city’s food delivery platforms met the press on Muk Ning Street, Kai Tak, on Wednesday afternoon. The area is surrounded by newly built private housing complexes, but lacks a variety of nearby restaurants, making it a busy food delivery location.
However, Ahmad, one of the delivery people, told HKFP that the private housing estates do not allow them to park their motorbikes inside, nor are there public parking spaces nearby for them. motorcycles.
“We don’t have a solution. What do we do with the bike? he asked, adding that most residents didn’t want to pick up their food at the door.
As a result, delivery drivers risk being fined by the police for illegal parking every time they deliver to customers in the area.
“For a delivery, we barely earn $40, and a ticket, if we get it, costs HK$320. Sometimes if [the bike is on] double lines is HK$450,” Ahmad said.
Siu Po, who has worked as a full-time delivery man for more than 10 years, told HKFP that only motorcycles were blocked at the compounds, while delivery trucks and vans were allowed to enter.
“Sometimes you can’t get in even if you offer to pay [parking fees]… it’s really miserable,” he said.
According to a statement from participating couriers, they have stopped delivering to areas “including but not limited to” Vibe Centro, K.City, Oasis, One Kai Tak and Victoria Skye, until they agree to supply parking spaces.
Ahmad estimated that around 60-70% of the several hundred bikers in the area were boycotting the areas in question, but he admitted the message hadn’t gotten through to everyone and the rest were still working for clients. in the areas concerned.
He said they only asked for enough space to park four to five bikes at one time.
Ms Wong, who works in the area, told HKFP that she supports the campaign for the delivery men. “They also have to earn a living,” she said.
Siu Po told HKFP that police frequently patrol the area for illegal parking, adding that he sometimes saw officers issuing tickets there four times a day.
Ahmad said his cousin once received a ticket twice a day and another time the next day when delivering to nearby estates. “In two days, maybe he [made] HK$2,000 and almost HK$1,100 [went] only for tickets,” he said.
HKFP has contacted the police for data regarding tickets issued in the area and comment.
Hoping for help from the platforms
According to Ahmad, the two main food delivery platforms in Hong Kong – Foodpanda and Deliveroo – offered up to HK$640 in compensation per month to passengers who received a parking ticket. But the policy was abolished a few years ago.
Ahmad said he hoped the two companies could help negotiate with the management of the estates in question to provide the requested parking spaces.
Siu Po said Deliveroo had successfully asked Telford Plaza, a shopping center in Kowloon Bay, to provide temporary parking spaces for motorbike delivery people.
The Riders’ Rights Concern Group’s Gaa-wing told HKFP that the riders launched their boycott campaign last Friday and contacted the two platforms as well as the property management departments of the relevant estates.
However, Deliveroo did not respond, while Foodpanda said it would get back to workers later, Au said.
See also: Over 150 Hong Kong FoodPanda employees demand apology after alleged physical clash between courier and manager
Responding to a query from HKFP, a Deliveroo spokesperson said the company was aware of the issue and had “proactively contacted relevant property management entities to better understand the situation and seek appropriate solutions”. He also shared the riders’ concerns with relevant government departments and organizations, the spokesperson said.
When asked if any adverse consequences would follow the courier boycott campaign, the spokesperson said: “[e]Each Deliveroo pilot is free to accept or refuse any order according to his personal considerations.
Foodpanda told HKFP that he wrote and called housing estates and property management units in the Kai Tak area, asking them to allow delivery drivers to temporarily park their vehicles in designated areas.
According to the delivery platform, Oasis has temporary 15-minute parking for delivery people, although there is no similar arrangement in the other four areas.
“If we do not receive a response from them regarding our request, we do not rule out the possibility of suspending our delivery service to these buildings until we can ensure that our couriers can deliver orders safely. and legally,” he added.
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