Its Not Just Uber Anymore
I find the difference between Uber and Lyft to be negligible. The fares are usually about the same, although you can easily do a quick cost compare by entering your ride info on both apps.
There are also other options. Apps like Flywheel and Curb are the taxicab industrys effort to regain some of the customer base theyve lost to ride share services. Both Flywheel and Curb allow you to use traditional taxi services summoned via an app.
One of the reasons Uber and Lyft are so popular is that the apps are so easy to navigate. The Flywheel and Curb apps will put you into a regular taxi versus a rideshare vehicle but it saves you having to call a taxi on the phone or flag one down on a busy street. Taxis are generally more expensive than ride shares so price compare first.
Another ride share service worth mentioning is Via. Its a cheaper option and may take longer than Uber, Lyft, or a traditional taxi. Thats because Via will stop to pick up other customers, similar to ride share pool cars. I have never used Via and it doesnt seem like the best option for families traveling with kids, especially younger ones. Via is only available in limited markets.
Numerous local options are also popping up. The best way to find these is to search for Ride share options in , see what pops up, and read reviews. You might also find info on local ride share programs in the airport baggage claim area.
Safety Guide To Car Seats With Uber
Unfortunately, car accidents continue to be one of the top death causes in the USA.
We advise you to focus on this section individually.
You can never be too careful when taking an Uber drive or any other means of transportation.
Here we will discuss safety when it comes to car seats in Uber.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics , children under 4’9‘ should be restrained in a booster or a car seat until they reach a suitable height for the required car seat. Suppose you wondered why this exact height is specified.
In that case, it’s because using a seat belt is not enough, or is it suitable for children who grew into it yet!Without the protection provided by the booster seat or a car seat, seat belts can result in internal organ damage in a car crash.If you are a responsible guardian and secure your child correctly in its car seat, this risk of injury is reduced by approximately 45%.
Do you now have a mental picture of why car seats are so important and why Uber drivers won’t risk not using them?
How To Use Uber & Lyft: Ridesharing Basics
First things first for beginners if youve never used a ridesharing service, the way it works is pretty simple. Download the companys app to your smartphone and set up an account with your credit card linked to it. I recommend doing this before you plan to use a ridesharing app on a trip so you arent fumbling with credit cards and kids in transit!
There are sometimes promo codes for newbies to get discounts on your first few rides, so get a referral from a friend before signing up. Or feel free to use mine !
When you need to be picked up, go into the app and select that you want a ride . The app will automatically geolocate you where you are standing.
Sometimes the correct address is found but you can adjust in a few ways from there. You can drag and drop the pin to the right physical spot or enter in an address manually. In some locations , there are designated rideshare pickup spots. Both the Lyft and Uber apps will prompt you to go to those spots and sometimes even give you choices to indicate which door number or zone you are standing in.
Youll also input your destination into the app as well either by typing in the name of a destination or an address. If youve ever used Google or Apple Maps to get directions, the apps will work similarly at this step.
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What If My Child Is Too Small Or Too Big For The Car Seat
With Uber, your options are limited. Either you need to bring your own rearward facing car seat which can add challenges to your trip or bring your own booster for larger children. Because Ride in Bliss is not an on demand service you can choose your type of vehicle and specify a forward or rearward facing car seat or booster as appropriate for your children. This added time allows us to select just the right seat from our selection before your vehicle comes to pick you up and, as always, your driver will have correctly installed it prior to picking you up so all you need to do is strap them in and we will have you on your way. Check out our customer testimonials on Yelp! Google+ or Facebook to hear how other parents with children love our car seat service.
Can I Use My Own Car Seat With Uber
If your child is too small for the forward-facing car seat which an Uber driver will provide with the Car Seat and Family services, then you can bring your own. You can bring your own even if your child will fit in one of their seats, but it is handier not to have to carry a seat around with you after the trip.
If you do bring a car set with you, then your child must be legally allowed to use it. It is the responsibility of you and your driver to ensure that the seat is correctly fitted and that the child is correctly strapped in. A driver may refuse to carry your child in the car seat if they deem it unsafe or if it is not compatible with their car.
Take the time to install the car seat properly and have your child strapped in correctly, even if it means you pay for the waiting time of the driver. A small amount of money is a low price to pay for the safety of your child.
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Can You Take Lyft Without A Car Seat
The Lyft car seat policy is that parents are responsible for bringing a car seat if their child needs it based on their age and local law. Drivers are allowed to reject a ride if you dont have a car seat. Youll even be charged a cancellation fee for the ride. Yes, many unprepared parents have been left standing on the curb by drivers who dont want the liability of transporting a young child unsafely.
Of course, its extremely unsafe to take your child in any car without a car seat until they pass the 5 step test around 10-12 for most kids. The laws of physics dont change just because youre in a ride share!
Installing A Car Seat In A Ride Share
Taxis and ride share services will allow you to install your own car seat. However, lugging a car seat around town isnt most peoples idea of a good time. If you are catching your ride share from an airport and have checked or carried on your childs car seat, getting to and from the airport to the hotel is probably no big deal. If you need to use ride share to get around during your trip, what are you going to do with your car seat? Thats the big dilemma.
If youre traveling with a baby or toddler, there are bucket style car seats that snap into a stroller that may work while traveling. If you are traveling with an infant, youre used to toting around lots of baby gear so this may be no big deal.
When your kids are older or sit in a booster style seat, the Mifold portable seat might be an option when traveling. Mifold offers several options. We have used the Portable Grab and Go Booster which is easily stowed in a bag or backpack. My kids found it supremely uncomfortable but for short trips, it will do the trick. The inflatable Bubble Bum booster seat is another option.
You always have the option of just getting in the ride share with your kids, sans car seats. Im not advocating for this but I know people do it. Laws on how big or old a child should be to legally not ride in a safety seat vary from location to location. Your driver reserves the right to refuse to transport your child if you dont have safety equipment, so plan for that.
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Find The Ride Type You Want
Scroll through the list of available ride options.
If youre looking to reserve Uber Car Seat expressly, look for Car Seat.
If youre looking for a regular uber for your own Car Seat, select any option you like.
Swipe up until you find the option you want.
Youll be able to see a price estimate before you book.
Youre Looking Out For The Child And Yourself
So the next time you encounter a parent with a child but no car seat, remember these five Dos and Donts:
Drivers, do you often get these types of requests, where there is a child/toddler but no car seat? What is the law in your state regarding car seats?
Jeff Parrott works full-time as a daily print/digital journalist while also driving part-time for Uber and Lyft in South Bend, Indiana.
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Make Sure That You Know The Local Laws
Because car seat laws vary by state, its important to make sure that you know the laws in the state that you are in.
Some states allow children of a certain height to be in the car without a booster seat, and some do not specify whether an infant needs to be in a rear-facing car seat or not.
The differences in laws make this especially important if you are traveling with a little one. A state by state guide can be found here.
Dont Assume Uber Is Exempt Because Taxis Are
Some states classify riding in an Uber as riding in a taxi. This means that if taxis are exempt from car seat laws, Ubers are too.
However, there is a lot of grey area when it comes to those exemptions, so its best not to test it. If your little one should have a car seat or booster seat, make sure youre prepared.
Can Uber Take Kids
Absolutely! Weve found Uber to be very kid-friendly and have used it in many countries. We generally find the drivers to be more patient than regular taxi drivers, probably because they know theyll be receiving a review from us after the ride. Uber is perfect if youre planning a car-free family vacation check out our favorite ideas.
I think Uber is especially kid-friendly because you can specify the size of car that meets your needs. If you only have one child or your kids are old enough to use these or these, a regular UberX will suffice. Got a bunch of kids in car seats and lots of luggage? The Uber XL size is sure to fit everyone comfortably!
Weve never had an issue taking our kids in Ubers and find them much more family-friendly than taxis. Some kid-friendly Uber drivers even offer to put Kidz Bop on the radio! They sometimes come with bottles of water and little candies for the kids, which Ive never seen in a traditional taxi.
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Select The Right Vehicle Size
The bigger the car you request, the more youll pay with ridesharing services. Obviously, the key for families is to get the smallest car possible to fit everyone plus luggage. The risk, however, is that the car that arrives will be too small and youll have to waste time requesting another.
My family of four has never had an issue squeezing into a regular Lyft or a standard Uber . For many years, we did this with one car seat and one travel booster, so we were a bit more compact than families with more than one child of car seat age.
Since 2020, however, standard cars are listed in both services as guaranteeing seating for just 3 passengers. Most drivers prefer to keep the front seat open unless absolutely necessary to maintain some social distancing, so I recommend that families of 4 get a bigger car if its an option.
So what are the bigger car options? Lyft XL and UberXL both offer cars that seat 5 passengers. Usually these will be larger SUVs or minivans. If you have more people or a ton of luggage, it make be more economical or ultimately give you more space to split into two standard cars.
Uber Car Types: Simply Explained
This article will show you the different uber car types, that way you know what to order.
Uber is a ride-hailing transportation company founded in 2009 and is well known for its taxi phone app of the same name. As of December 2018, Uber was available in 63 countries and over 700 cities worldwide. It also had 91 million monthly active platform consumers and 3.9 million drivers.
Over the years since its launch, Uber has changed the way people view transport by making it fun, cheaper, and way more convenient. Whether youre running an errand across town, going to an airport, or exploring a city far from home, getting there should be easy.
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Are Uber Drivers Required To Bring A Child Seat
As a general rule, Uber drivers are not required to bring a car seat unless it is uniquely specified. Only certain parts of the country offer Uber Family or Uber Car Seat. These include major cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Orlando.
Keep in mind that the drivers who participate in this type of Uber program may not all have the same car seat.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your child fits in the seat and is properly secured before putting the car in motion.
Always make sure that you have the driver park somewhere safe so that you can inspect the installation of the car seat and get your child settled before you move on.
Lyft drivers who have car seats will all have the IMMI Go car seat. Drivers with this company are responsible for installing and uninstalling the car seat at the beginning and end of each ride.
In fact, they are required to pass a test proving that they can safely do so before being accepted into the program.
To safely use the IMMI Go forward-facing car seat, your child must be at least twelve months old, 22 pounds, and 31 inches tall. Your child is too big to ride in this car seat at 48 pounds or 52 inches tall.
Whether you choose to ride with Uber or Lyft, there is an additional fee that you can expect to pay for requesting a driver with a car seat. Both services tack on an additional $10 surcharge for the convenience of this bonus feature.
How Many Car Seats Does Uber Car Seat Offer
Uber Car Seat only offers one car seat for the time being.
The reasons for this are that most people calling Uber Car Seat only have one child to transport and the restriction of vehicle space.
Drivers that are a part of the Uber Car Seat program likely still participate in other ride offers like Uber X, Uber Pool, and scheduled rides.
They cant take up too much space in their vehicle with car seats and then not be able to transport a car full of adults.
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Uber With Kids In Car Seats How Does That Work
In general, neither taxis or ride shares provide car seats. Uber offers a car seat option called Uber Car Seat, on some larger vehicles and only in a select cities. Uber Car Seat vehicles carry one inspected, current car seat and add a surcharge to the ride fee for using the car seat. The operator is trained on how to install it.
Lyft offers something called Car Seat Mode that works much the same way as Uber Car Seat, but, as of publication time is only in New York City.
If youre requesting a taxi and want a car seat, request it when you book the taxi. The average taxi driver probably isnt going to be carrying a car seat. Even if they are, you have no guarantee about when the seat was purchased or how well its been maintained.
TravelingMom Tip: Know the car seat/booster seat laws where youre traveling. Know your comfort zone, too. And read these tips for safely installing a car seat without a base.
How To Request A Car Seat
Uber drivers have received instruction and training on how to install the car seat.
Here’s how to order a car seat with your Uber request:
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