Childseat rules for Chicago taxis?
March 23, 2009 7:02 AM   Subscribe

Coming to Chicago for a weekend w. my 8-month-old baby. Hotel isn't walking distance to the L, so we'll need cabs a couple of times in town - never on Interstate. What are the rules for child seats in Chicago taxis? Should we plan on bringing the whole set-up from home? What do local daddies do?
posted by smelvis to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Illinois law requires child seats in cabs.

You can read this blog post for one person's experience (though towards the end she goes off the rails when she a.) lumps cabs in with public transit and b.) complains that she should be able to take her kid into a cab sans carseat...)

Although your hotel may not be near an L stop, I'm sure there are buses nearby. With a little planning and the CTA's trip planner you may be able to avoid cabs altogether.
posted by wfrgms at 7:16 AM on March 23, 2009

I can't answer the specific question, but it may help to know that Google Maps also includes the CTA now. Click "Transit" under "More" in the upper right corner of the map, or choose "By Public Transportation" when getting directions.

Enjoy your trip.
posted by steeb2er at 7:29 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Check with your hotel and see if they provide child seats, just in case. (I assume you're not bringing your own at least for the place because the airline provides one? I've never flown with an infant.)
posted by nax at 7:35 AM on March 23, 2009

According to this site (not wholly authoritative, but not some random Joe!), cab companies should have car seats available. Presumably they're not in the trunk; you prob have to call first.

From the site:
"In Chicago, you pay the amount shown on the meter, plus any tolls. The meter should start at $2.25, then increase $1.80 for every mile, plus a charge for waiting time. You'll get charged extra for additional passengers, but not for baggage. Tipping is customary. Car seats for children are available."

Here's the site for a big Chicago taxi company: Yellow Cab - you might try giving them a call in advance.
posted by swilkerson at 7:40 AM on March 23, 2009

Illinois law does not require car seats in taxicabs because they are commercial vehicles. This City of Chicago website contains the text of the car seat law, and makes no reference to any Chicago-specific regulations that would change that.
posted by katemonster at 7:50 AM on March 23, 2009

You can generally call ahead for a car service with car seats but your chances of finding a street cab with one are so slim as to be almost nonexistant. Even if you call ahead I suspect you will be waiting for hours for them to get the one cab with the battered old carseat over to your hotel.

You can also go with a baby equipment rental place - for a fairly small per-day rate they'll drop off whatever you need at your hotel. Booster seats, car seats, baby gates, toys, stroller, whatever.
posted by true at 10:31 AM on March 23, 2009

I would bring the whole set-up from home - Chicago cabs and Chicago traffic are crazy enough that I think even short rides without proper restraints are far too risky.

No matter the policy, you have virtually no chance of finding a taxi with a car seat (even by pre-arranging) and you wouldn't want to put your kid in that seat anyway.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 10:40 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

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