Car seats in the city
March 16, 2007 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Car seats in cabs/cars for hire in NYC?

We're going to NYC with our two-week old. (Long story, we know it's not recommended to travel so early, we gotta go.) The only time we will be in a car will be from the airport to the city. Do we need to bring a car seat, and if so, do we need to tell the car service about it ahead of time? Do car services have them available so we don't have to drag one with us?
posted by pomegranate to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Some (all?) car services can get you a car with an appropriate seat if you call ahead.

That said, if you're flying into Newark or JFK, your hotel is subway-convenient, and the hour is reasonable, you might want to consider the AirTrain instead.
posted by PEAK OIL at 11:43 AM on March 16, 2007

This is one question people with kids in nyc dread. Car seats, cabs, dragging that thing around.... Its a constant problem. I've never had a problem with putting my own seat in a car service car. I've never told them ahead of time. Cabs are a sometimes a different story though.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:47 AM on March 16, 2007

I should add, that the reason I always brought my own seat was that I never wanted to be in a situation where I didn't have it (and therefore some flexibility) when the car service messed up, or some other problem disrupted my plans.
posted by R. Mutt at 12:07 PM on March 16, 2007

If you are traveling with a 2 week old and you have the infant car seat and stroller combo unit, the car seat will pop out of the stroller and you can just buckle it into whatever car you get in. They are frequently designed to be used with or without a base. The base allows you to snap the car seat into place quickly and easily. However, they do have instructions for use without the base. Look at this for an example.

I've traveled with such accessories when my son was an infant and never had a problem with use in a cab. The stroller just folded and was stored with the luggage. The car seat was buckled in like a regular passenger would buckle in.
posted by onhazier at 12:20 PM on March 16, 2007

Also, from the NYC Taxi and Limo Commision FAQ's ... (basically they ignore the problem, imo)

• 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. Children under the age of seven are permitted to sit on an adult's lap.

posted by R. Mutt at 12:21 PM on March 16, 2007

Don't you need the car seat for the plane anyhow?
posted by lee at 12:36 PM on March 16, 2007

Ditto onhazier - do you have the seat/stroller combo? If not can you borrow one from someone? I think those are such an great invention. That way you don't have to lug an extra thing around just for the car.
posted by radioamy at 1:31 PM on March 16, 2007

Legends Car & Limosine Service

88A 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 888-8884
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:34 PM on March 16, 2007

Don't you need the car seat for the plane anyhow?

You don't have to, but personally we always bring 'em. And yes, by "'em" I mean two, as we have twins. Picture dragging two toddlers, two car seats, a twin stroller and carry-on luggage to the gate (never mind before we've checked our other bags.)

Yet we do it anyway, because (a) it's possibly safer for our kids, and (b) we don't have to hold our children for the entire flight, which is the alternative (you can't really sit a toddler, much less a baby, on an airplane seat without a child seat attached.)
posted by davejay at 5:14 PM on March 16, 2007

If you're not bringing the seat for the plane, that implies you're fine with having your baby on your lap and the taxi ride will be shorter (presumably) than the plane ride with more comfy seats and more room. As R. Mutt points out, you're definitely allowed to ride in the taxi with baby in your arms.
posted by allterrainbrain at 9:56 PM on March 16, 2007

Whether your "allowed" to, or not, DO NOT risk your child's life by holding your baby in arms in a taxi. The laws of physics overrule any rules of the taxi service.
This site has an excellent write-up about using taxis with children There's even a video to help you with the car seat installation.
posted by moonlite at 11:56 AM on March 19, 2007

I agree moonlite. My posting of the taxi commisions FAQ was actually to point out that they were dropping the ball on the problem.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:43 PM on March 19, 2007

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