According to WUSA-TV, DC area commuters don’t know whether they have to bring a car seat when using Uber with children or if the drivers have to provide the safety item.
“When using rideshare services, car seats are often not available, making getting from point A to point B with a small child more complicated. Most rideshares don’t have car seats installed, and it can be inconvenient to bring one along.”
“Generally, in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, it’s illegal to transport a child who is not properly restrained. But each locale has unclear laws concerning who’s responsible for providing and installing safe seating for kids in rideshare vehicles.”
Uber and Lyft May Fit into Regulatory Loopholes on Car Seats
Again, from WUSA:
“In Virginia, taxis and for-hire vehicles are exempt from seat belt laws, according to a study from Virginia Tech. But it’s unclear if that exemption is extended to rideshares.”
Ride-Sharing Drivers Are Refusing Parent Passengers
Regulatory “ambiguity causes headaches for rideshare drivers who arrive to pick up a passenger and find them traveling with a small child. “I will not take them. The liabilities are just too much for me,” one driver said” to WUSA.
Parents and Drivers seem to Just Ignore the Laws
“The Virginia Tech researchers found about half of parents who brought their kid into a rideshare reported not using appropriate safety seats. Many said they were interested in using a car seat, the study found, but were deterred by a lack of options and uncertainty about the rules.”
WUSA points out that Uber Family isn’t a solution to everyone. “Some options, including Uber Family, allow caregivers to request a vehicle equipped with a car seat. But that isn’t available in all states.”
Car Seats Can Double the Price of an Uber
Checking the Uber app from Brookland, DC, there were several family options: UberX Car Seat, Black SUV Car Seat, Black Car Seat. No cars were available in the second two options. The UberX price doubled with the car seat option. If they were available, the car seat added 25 percent to the Black SUV price and 38 percent to the Black Car fee. These prices were for a journey to 901 F Street NW, a downtown location picked at random.