Using Uber or Lyft with a young child from Newark Airport
July 25, 2018 9:35 AM   Subscribe

What do you do when traveling with a young child from Newark Airport? A family member needs a ride from the airport tomorrow, and she will not have a car seat. What are her options?
posted by Four-Eyed Girl to Travel & Transportation around Newark, NJ (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How young is the young child? If it's a little kid that can use a booster, I would recommend buying a travel one that she take with her. Something like a BubbleBum.
posted by LKWorking at 9:42 AM on July 25, 2018

Both Uber and Lyft can provide car seats in NYC. Does that include Newark? I don't know, but it might be worth checking out.
posted by ubiquity at 9:45 AM on July 25, 2018

This website lists NYC area (including airports) car services that offer car seats, including details on how to get a car seat with Lyft and Uber.
posted by nantucket at 9:52 AM on July 25, 2018

Can she travel by bus, train, subway, etc?
posted by pecanpies at 10:05 AM on July 25, 2018

Newark Airport has direct train service to NYC Penn Station. Depending on the age/wranglability of the child and the amount of luggage, I'm not sure if that's a more convenient option than getting a car, but it is an option.
posted by praemunire at 10:10 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

It is important to know what stage of car seat they are looking for. In my experience, car services are not very good at giving you what you need.
I'm giving you ages, but really this depends on weight. Ask the parent what they need.

If the child is under a year old, they will likely need what is call an infant seat, or a bucket seat.
If the child is over 6 months old and large (but more safely, over a year old) to about age 3 or 4, they need what is called a convertible seat. In my experience, this is the kind of seat that most car services tend to have on hand.
If the child is over 4 or so, they can use a booster seat. This is also usually on hand at car services. The BubbleBum mentioned above is also an option.

I'd personally go with a car service (here's a list of services that do car seats in NJ) and confirm multiple times that they are bringing the correct kind of car seat. Uber/Lyft is a bit tougher in my experience because you don't really have the opportunity to explicitly request the correct seat (or at least this wasn't an option last year.) Here are Uber's and Lyft's NYC car seat thing though - it looks as though the car seat Uber and Lyft provide is the convertible style - not infant or booster.
Another option, depending on how you are doing this, is to ask your friends/neighborhood social media/etc. if you can borrow the correct kind of car seat (this assumes that someone would ride with them and be able to bring the seat back).
posted by k8t at 10:11 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: No, Uber and Lyft do not count Newark as the NYC area.

She is four-years-old.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 10:14 AM on July 25, 2018

If she is 4, unless she is really tiny (less than 40 lbs.), she can use a booster. But she probably will fit in a convertible seat if that is what they have - those are supposed to go up to 35 lbs. or so. I might ask the parent if they have a preference, if possible. Some 4 year olds are not capable of being in a booster because they can undo the seat belt by themselves.

Again, I'd call a car service that has car seats and request the type that the parent wants.
posted by k8t at 10:18 AM on July 25, 2018

Ridesafer Travel Vest would be great if she needs car transport. This is what I will be using for my soon-to-be 5yo on a trip with a rental car. But when we went to NYC last year, we just used the subway the whole time, so no car seats necessary.

If she uses an actual Taxi (from FAQs):
What are the rules regarding child safety seats and seatbelts in taxicabs?

Drivers of yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles and their passengers, are exempt from laws regarding car seats and seatbelts. Keep in mind, the TLC encourages everyone in the vehicle to buckle their seatbelts while riding in a cab. There are no Taxi and Limousine Commission rules regarding this, as it is a State exemption. Passengers with children are encouraged to bring their own car seats, which the drivers must allow passengers to install.
*NOTE - Children under the age of seven are permitted to sit on an adult's lap.
posted by jillithd at 10:41 AM on July 25, 2018

If you call a car service and do not tell them you need a booster when you call, the driver who shows up without a booster will be pissed and cuss about it the whole ride.
posted by bdc34 at 10:48 AM on July 25, 2018

I've plugged Jupiter Car Service here before, and I can affirm that they serve Newark (though tolls are not included in the rate) and offer appropriately-sized car seats if you request them in advance.

Depending on the final destination, though, taking the train (NJ Transit) could be a little quicker and easier, and certainly would be cheaper.
posted by halation at 11:10 AM on July 25, 2018

I use Carmel from EWR to both NJ and NYC and they are cheaper than Lyft at peak hours. They have car seats if you reserve them. People complain about Carmel but I use it a lot and never had an issue.
posted by nantucket at 11:14 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

The rail link to EWR is robustly serviced (6 trains per hour during normal travel hours) and not absurdly expensive ($13/$9), I would take that rather than stressing about seats. You can get to either NY Penn Station or the World Trade Center station in about the same time as you would take to taxi. NY Penn deserves its reputation for dingy surroundings and confusing layout, but it does the job.
posted by wnissen at 11:47 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Does the family member actually need to go into NYC?
posted by nantucket at 11:50 AM on July 25, 2018

Response by poster: No, they are not traveling to NYC.

Thanks, everyone! I ended up buying a travel booster seat, as suggested, and I will be picking them up myself.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 1:54 PM on July 25, 2018

Not relevant to the OP, but for anyone finding this is the future, NYC cabs don't pick up at EWR. They're (I think) Newark and Elizabeth cabs.
posted by hoyland at 4:27 PM on July 25, 2018

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