It’s a common problem: something super cool for families is happening somewhere in the city, but for various reasons (no car, mass transit is not cooperating, weather, etc.) you just can’t get there. A quick ride without a car seat in a cab can be tolerable for a short distance (it is legal) but for longer journeys you really want those kids strapped in. Rejoice!: Lyft now offers a kid’s car seat option and we gave it a test drive. Read on for our review!

graphic: Lyft

Car Seat on Demand
The car seat option for Lyft works identically to how the other options: Line, the app’s shared ride option; Plus, for larger vehicles, Lux, for black cars. etc. To use it, after downloading the Lyft app, you simply select the car seat option and set your pickup and drop off locations.

When you put in your location, you’ll see Lyft drivers (illustrated as little cars on the map) buzzing around the area. In our experience, a driver responded to the call almost immediately, and the app then notifies you of the name of the driver, the make, color and license plate of the car picking you up, and how long it will be until your ride arrives. (You can also see the illustration of the car making its way towards you.)

photo: via IMMI Facebook page 

The Seat That Makes it Possible
The car seat that Lyft uses is an IMMI Go, which is a forward-facing car seat and frankly, is a dream compared to the hefty ones we use. Children must be 31 – 52 inches and weigh 22 – 48 pounds to use the seat, and it is not suitable for children under 12 months old.

You Don’t Even Have to Install It!
Yes, you get to skip the worst part of a ride with a car seat — the hell of installing it! (Not to mention wondering if you’ve installed it correctly.) All Lyft car seat drivers have been trained and tested in installing and maintaining the IMMI Go seat.

The company hired third-party child passenger safety (CPS) technicians that have been certified under the auspices of the National Child Passenger Safety Training Program to do so. These CPS technicians have tested each Lyft driver participating in the Car Seat program to assure that the driver knows how to properly install the IMMI Go car seat in the driver’s vehicle and that the car seat is in proper working condition.

(Lyft does advise that you double-check that it’s secure, which you’re probably going to do anyway.) Parents are responsible for putting their child in the seat.

We found the process very easy, and when we needed to tighten the straps for a more secure fit and didn’t know how, our driver knew exactly how to help.

How Much?
Lyft charges and additional $8 for the car seat option. Beyond that, our rides were comparably priced with fares of cabs and other ride apps.

Lyft emails you a receipt with the details of your trip, and also gives you a chance to rate and tip your driver.

New to Lyft and wonder if the app has as many drivers in the field as other companies? From our experience, it does, and in one case it had drivers nearby when no one else did.

Click here for even more info on Lyft’s new car seat option.

Online: lyft.com