News & Politics

Uber to Start Offering Cars With Child Seats

The ride-sharing company wants to hook them while they're young.

Uber customer of the future. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Parents of young children no longer have to feel excluded from the legally nebulous world of “ride-sharing,” with Uber introducing its “Uber Family” service to the Washington market on Monday.

The new product presents child-toting Uber users with black cars and UberX vehicles rigged with child seats, available for a $10 surcharge. (Though Uber says it is waiving the fee for the first week.) The Family option, which Uber launched in New York in May, will appear as an option in the app’s black car and UberX menus.

Uber is supplying participating drivers with IMMI Go Seats, compact, front-facing devices marketed to rental companies and car services. The company also says children must be at least one year old to ride in the seats.

But wait: Many parents are familiar with American Pediatric Association guidelines that recommend infants ride in rear-facing seats until at least 24 months. Why is Uber openly flouting such widely accepted advice? The company says a front-facing seat is better than nothing.

“Rather than having children ride on parents’ laps, or belted in with mom or dad, uberFAMILY allows for a car seat to be an option—which is a much better option than no car seat at all,” Uber says on its website.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.