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Car Seats in Taxis

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > What/Where to Buy > Car Seats > Car Seats in Taxis



Cab rides and booster seat for 4-year-old

Oct 2006

I'm going to be taking a trip with my four year old and am on the fence about whether to bring her booster seat for either the flight or the couple of cab rides we'll be taking. The seat manual clearly says it's not certified for airline use, so I'm wondering whether they'd even let us bring it on the plane (unlike carseats)and whether there'd be any advantage to her having it on the plane. I'm also really wondering about cab rides. Do most people just hold their kids on their laps or strap them in with the regular belts when traveling and taking cabs, or do you lug a seat with you wherever you go, and make sure to have one with you whenever you hail a cab?
Wanting to Safe But Also Reasonable


i would bring along the booster seat. they are only useful with shoulder belts, which planes don't have, which is why people don't use them on planes, but i've seen people bring them as carry-ons. i usually check ours. for cab rides, even if you have a fantastic driver, an accident just requires some other driver not paying attention--i don't see why this is any different than being in a car with you or someone else on home territory. better safe than sorry! anon
If it's the law to use a booster in that state, than that also applies to cabs. Don't bother bringing it on the plane, just have it checked. Then you'll have to take it with you on cab rides. Unless the cabby has their own booster, which I've never seen. You also might run into a cabdriver who will insist that you have a booster, as it's the law leslie

Taxis in Las Vegas with 21-month-old

May 2003

We are going to be taking a quick trip to Las Vegas with our 21 month old son and we weren't planning on renting a car. We will be staying off the strip but I envision us going on adventures to some of the hotels like The Mirage. Is it legal/safe to take a toddler in a taxi/shuttle without a carseat? Even if we don't go outside our hotel, do we need to bring a car seat to get from the airport to the hotel? debbie


We just recently came back from Vegas with our 13 months old son. We took the shutter from the airport to the hotel and they din't require car seat. We also took taxi to get around places without car seat. So, I think it's legal without it. anon

Taking 9-month-old to Paris

I am going to take my daughter to Paris when she is 9 months old. What do other parents do about taking kids in taxis in big cities - especially when you are going somewhere where you can't reasonably lug around a large, bulky carseat? I'd appreciate any insight on this question. Kris
When you child is a bit bigger you can get these very portable car seats that are basically a harness with a very firm back and which uses the cars own seat belt. They fit easily into a suitcase. We got one as a hand me down so unfortunately I don't know where it is from but I sure several of the standard kids gear catalogues would have something like it. The thing is though that many taxis and all buses as far as I know do not have seat belts. When we were in Ecuador last year that was the case and my daughter had a few weeks of fun without car seats. She though it was great, but was just fine about returning to a car seat when we got home. If you are really concerned then I would think that the only thing you can do is rent a car that has seat belts. Elizabeth
I have had good luck installing my "mini-car-seat" in American taxis. I think it is actually called a "Travel Vest." I bought it brand new for about $40 at Baby World on College Ave. It amounts to a rigid plastic board with a five-point restraint on it, which is belted into the car's seat belt. It meets the federal safety standards and goes up to a 40-pound child. It installs in about three minutes--probably less the more you use it. It isn't super comfortable, because it doesn't have the nice reclined chair-shell that typical car seats have, but for a short ride while she is awake, my 18-month-old daughter is fine with it. Also, because it is very small, it can easily fit into a tote bag. Hope this helps. Meg
I've never actually been to Europe with my small child, but we've been to a few foreign countries as well as domestic vacations. The car seat thing can be quite a quandry. Invariably, when you start installing a car seat in a taxi even the nicest looking drivers start to roll their eyes and shake their head because of such a waste of their time. This is if they even have accessible seat belts. On the other hand, the alternative is kind of scary. We always brought car seats on the plane although they usually aren't a very easy fit in the seat, and the last time we flew we were not allowed to use the car seat on take off or landing, for whatever reason. Incidentally, I wouldn't pay for an extra ticket for an infant - they're only under 2 once, vacations will never again be so cheap! Have fun! Elizabeth
I have had good luck installing my "mini-car-seat" in American taxis. I think it is actually called a "Travel Vest." I bought it brand new for about $40 at Baby World on College Ave. It amounts to a rigid plastic board with a five-point restraint on it, which is belted into the car's seat belt. It meets the federal safety standards and goes up to a 40-pound child. It installs in about three minutes--probably less the more you use it. It isn't super comfortable, because it doesn't have the nice reclined chair-shell that typical car seats have, but for a short ride while she is awake, my 18-month-old daughter is fine with it. Also, because it is very small, it can easily fit into a tote bag. Hope this helps. Meg
From what I was able to find out, all booster type seats and special seat belts - even those with the so-called '5 - point' restraint system are not FDA approved. When we traveled a Christmas with 2 children under 40 pounds we used only one car seat on the plane and sent the other one through with the baggage. It definitely gave us more room; and, I think, was safe enough for my 3 year old who weighed about 35 pounds. Ellen
My husband and I lived with our 2 children in Tokyo and Paris for all of 1997 and had a wonderful experience (when we began, they were 10 months and 21 months). We found that even though we had carseats, we did not use them for taxi rides because it was too cumbersome and there would be nowhere to put them when we arrived at our various destinations. Thus, we all generally sat in the back seat with the children in our laps. As long as you have a sense of humor and allow extra time to get from place to place, it can be a great experience for everyone. I found that little toys (e.g. Travel Magnadoodle), coloring pencils and books, and stickers were useful for passing time during the traveling parts. Panda

Moving to Philadelphia; will be getting around in cabs

May 2002

We will be moving to Philadelphia before having our baby in September. We've lived there before, and found that it was much cheaper and easier to live without a car. Taking cabs several times a week was still more efficient than owning/insuring/parking a car. Here's my question: how do you deal with a car seat in a cab? Since most cabs are different, how can you be sure the car seat will be safely installed? Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks!! sonya


Yes, all cars are different but nearly every cab you get into these days has two common features: shoulder belts in back, and no tether bolt (an issue later, when you move from the infant seat to a seat like the Britax Roundabout). Get a good infant seat to start with, and what you will need to do is practice installing it in your friends' cars so you can can put it in properly and speedily. It takes a fair amount of practice but it will really reduce your stress level and ensure you don't install it sloppily because you're rushed. Get good at it before the baby comes and before you have a cabdriver hmphing impatiently while you struggle. Once your baby outgrows the infant seat, you will want to choose a seat that doesn't need to be attached to a tether bolt to work properly, because I doubt you will ever see a cab that has one. P.S. Congratulations on NOT owning a car - I think it's a good decision! Fran
We lived in New York City for my son's first two years, and had to deal with the carseat in a cab situation frequently. I'm not familiar with the public transportation situation in Philly, but in NYC, I tried to take the subway or bus (with a lightweight MacLaren stroller) over cabs as much as possible, because it ended up being so much easier. While we never had difficulty securing our carseat into taxis, we did encounter several cabs with seatbelts either crammed into the seat, or tangled in mysterious configurations, making it quite a production to get going. Another drawback of using cabs was lugging the carseat around once we reached our destination. The snap-n-go stroller was too cumbersome for us, but this might be the way to go. It might take a bit more energy and time to commute by cab, but it is possible. Alissa
I have a friend who lives in NYC. She uses the Subway for most things, but when she takes a cab, she says she does take a carseat and insists that the cabbie wait (with meter running) while she gets it secured in the cab.

Another hint: I have found it much easier to carry a carseat (e.g. at the airport) by bringing along a bungee cord and securing it to the back of a stroller between the basket and handle. Good luck. Jennie


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