Uber Car Seats and Ride in Bliss car seats – What every parent, relative, nanny or caregiver should know
If you are travelling in the New York area, with some overlap into Philadelphia and Washington DC you can add a car seat to your Uber X experience for about $10 more. If you are travelling in Chicago, Milwaukee or NW Indiana you can add a car seat to you Ride in Bliss experience at no cost.
Because Uber drivers use a wide variety of personal vehicles, the amount of room for you and your children will vary and the age and cleanliness of the vehicle may vary but as safety is likely your primary concern, you should know that Uber uses a quality seat product made by immi and uses the services of the CPS to train their drivers how to use it. If you’re lucky, the driver will have fitted their car seat so many times that they may even have more experience than you in doing it which has got to be reassuring, especially for new or inexperienced parents
Regardless of the type of vehicle your Uber driver owns, for short distance trips the amount of room you get after the seat is fitted should not be a problem. For longer journeys or if you have multiple children requiring a seat, perhaps try to specify a larger vehicle in the first place. It might cost a little more but it will be worth it to feel comfortable and not cramped.
What type of car seats can I use with Uber and Ride in Bliss Chicago?
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What type of car seats do Uber and Ride in Bliss use?
Uber recommends its drivers use a single model of car seat called the Go from a company called IMMI. Made of the same material as car seats it is hard wearing, comfortable and easy to keep clean. The immi seat is easy to install and should take about 5mins, on average, to install before you set off. With Ride in Bliss the car arrives with the seat already fitted so any delay is just how long it takes to get your little one comfortable and buckled up. To be fair to Uber, they are providing on demand service and while the driver will be notified you need a car seat, he or she may not have time to fit it on their way to pick you up nor do they know the size and weight of your children in advance so they have to use a seat that fits a wide range of sizes. With Ride in Bliss, customers typically book their trip in advance, allowing the driver a bit more time to select the right seat for the age of the children being picked up and to sanitize, fit and check the seat prior to coming to get you.
Because Uber offers such great low fares, drivers likely need a higher volume of trips per day to make their financial goals and may not wish to offer you much waiting time. With Ride in Bliss, fewer trips per day means yours can be more of an experience than an event and some waiting time is built in although like any company, excessive waiting will incur a fee. Again, it depends on what you’re looking for and what suits your budget. Maybe you don’t need a free latte with every trip like you can have with Ride in Bliss or snacks and juice for the kids, something that Uber discourages while you ride with them. But every parent knows that sometimes, when their kids are cranky or hangry (hungry and angry), a light snack or some juice is the difference between calm and chaos, so feel free to sip and snack in our vehicles, we want you to feel like family.
Do Uber and Ride in Bliss car seats meet any kind of recognized safety standards?
Yes, for those travelling with Uber, The IMMI Go forward facing seat meets all the requirements (i.e., crash testing, labeling, etc.) set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 (FMVSS213). For those choosing Ride in Bliss our range of forward and rearward facing car seats come from well-known manufacturers including Graco, Cosco, Britax and Chico all meet requirements set by FMVSS 213.
Do Uber and Ride in Bliss drivers know how to properly install car seats?
Yes, Uber drivers in the New York area are sent paper and video based materials and have the option for an in-person training with a CPS representative. Ride in Bliss drivers are currently trained by the owner in a rigorous set of hands on sessions with both forward and rearward facing seats until the driver shows consistent ability. Random spot checks where seats are inspected and skills are demonstrated ensure standards are maintained.
How do I know the car seat in an Uber or a Ride in Bliss vehicle hasn’t expired?
Uber car seats expire after 6 years. Ride in Bliss car seats also expire after 6 years and drivers check the dates periodically to ensure a new seat will be rotated in as an older one reaches end of life.
Who is in charge of maintaining the car seat?
Uber drivers and Ride in Bliss drivers are responsible for maintaining the car seats. Ride in Bliss drivers check the condition of straps, fittings and cushions to ensure car seat is in optimal condition for the safety of your child.
What happens to the seat if it is involved in a car crash?
Uber and Ride in Bliss see eye to eye on safety and only differ on the level of service and the range of ages and heights of children that can be accommodated. As such, like Uber, Ride in Bliss may continue using a car seat after a minor crash but for moderate or significant impacts, the car seat will be disposed of and replaced with another. While no company can guarantee zero crashes due to many factors, we can tell you our drivers are all state certified, with current chauffeur licenses for which they have to take a test and pay an annual fee to maintain. As driving is usually our drivers primary source of income, we feel they drive defensively because everything from your safety, their reputation and their livelihood is at stake. Read our reviews on Yelp!, Facebook and Google+ to hear other peoples experiences with us.
Who will install the car seat?
If you ride with Uber you will be responsible for fitting the car seat upon arrival, it is estimated to add no more than 5mins to your overall journey experience. If you ride with Ride in Bliss, your driver will install the car seat before they pick you up and all you are responsible for is giving the seat a cursory check and then you or you and the driver can secure your child in the seat
Where in the vehicle will the car seat be installed?
We cannot speak for Uber but it is logical that the car seat would be fitted in the 2nd or the 3rd row. With Ride in Bliss the car seat is fitted in either in the 2nd or the 3rd row. If you have a preference, you may request it in the 2nd or 3rd row, the left or the right side of the vehicle.
How long does it take to install the car seat?
With Uber, fitting the car seat is the riders responsibility and the site estimates no more than 5mins. With Ride in Bliss it is zero because we arrive with the car seat already fitted to your preference.
What about dirt?
We cannot speak for Uber as they have so many drivers, each using their own vehicle, with their own standards and habits. For Ride in Bliss, our drivers present a freshly cleaned vehicle to every client, often cleaning their cars 4 or 5 times a day. You may think this is overkill but to us, there is something about the experience of climbing inside a freshly washed vehicle that every customer deserves and why so many of our customers come back time and again.
What about food allergies?
Uber avoids any risk by allowing no food or drinks in their car seats. At Ride in Bliss we know the benefit of juice and snacks to a tired, thirsty or hungry child and a tired parent that wants just a few minutes of peace and so we offer organic juice and snacks but let the parent read the label to decide whether or not to give it to their child whom they know best.
What about germs?
Uber does not permit food or drink to be consumed during the trip and it recommends to its drivers not to use Lysol or other disinfecting wipes in case it degrades the material of the straps. At Ride in Bliss we have not found this to be the case and our drivers sanitize car seats after every use and we feel that, like family, sometimes some juice or a snack calms a child down, making your trip more relaxing. The choice is up to you.
Do children under 2 years old need to ride in a rearward facing seat?
Yes, this is the law. Uber does not offer rearward facing seats so if you have children under 2yrs old or several children, where 1 or more are under the age of 2, you need to take this into consideration. Uber suggests that placing children in a seatbelt is better than holding them in your arms or not using one. At Ride in Bliss we offer both forward and rearward facing car seats so you have a few more options.
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 (i.e. you order us more than 2hrs in advance) 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 (or them if you have multiple young children or infants) 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.
Author of article: J.F.