Uber launches car seat service for kids
From today, commuters with young children who book an Uber ride may opt for vehicles with child safety seats, with the launch of Uber Car Seat.
This is the first time Uber is offering customers the option in Singapore, with similar services available overseas.
The company said 100 Uber Car Seat vehicles will be plying Singapore's roads in its pilot phase.
The move comes almost five months after child safety laws for private-hire cars were highlighted in a report by The New Paper in January.
Under the Road Traffic Act, it is illegal for private-hire cars to carry passengers under the height of 1.35m without a booster seat or child restraint.
Ride-hailing firm Grab launched the GrabFamily option on its app in March, allowing customers to book vehicles with child booster seats suitable for children aged four to seven for an extra $2 a trip.
Uber Car Seat vehicles will be fitted with an IMMI Go car seat, which is suitable for children aged 12 months and above, who are not taller than 1.45m.
The ride will cost $5 more than normal uberX rides.
The seat is installed by Uber drivers using Isofix latches that come in most cars. Drivers may fold the seat and keep it in the car boot when not in use.
"We wanted to launch with the right product and the right partner, and have as broad a coverage as possible for children of a larger age range," said Mr Warren Tseng, general manager of Uber Singapore.
Uber Singapore partnered with Taxi Baby, a child travel safety company, to launch Uber Car Seat.
Taxi Baby provides one-on-one training and certification for Uber Car Seat drivers.
Uber driver Antaeus Lim, 30, said he paid a discounted fee of $99 over four instalments to purchase the IMMI Go car seat and receive certification.
The seat retails for $440 on the Taxi Baby website.
"The training was efficient, and it is a good upgrade for me as law enforcement is strict, and there are a lot of families with young children who book private-hire cars," said Mr Lim.
Said Mr Tseng: "In the next few months, we will have a few hundred of these on the platform.
"As we understand the demand and supply of these cars, and the usage patterns, we will continue to add more seats and more drivers to the platform."
Meanwhile, Grab announced yesterday that it increased its GrabFamily fleet to more than 3,000 vehicles, triple the number of vehicles since its launch in March.
Both companies are looking at making more than one child seat available on their child-friendly services, while Grab is looking at solutions for children below the age of four on its GrabFamily vehicles.