Uber starts offering car seats in New York


(Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

As Uber continues its slow, steady evolution from car service to Something More — which is still happening, obviously, with the announcement last month that Uber would start offering a courier service — the company is also still adding new features to its flagship car service.

Uber announced Thursday that travelers in New York could start adding a car seat to their Uber rides. This new function will cost an additional $10, with that surcharge coming on top of the normal UberX rates, the company says.

The new car seat feature, called UberFAMILY, is only available in New York. And to commemorate and promote the launch, travelers will be able to use it this weekend without paying the $10 surcharge. (To access it, travelers have to enter the promotion code “FAMILY” on the app.)

In New York, drivers of yellow medallion cabs and for-hire vehicles — along with any passengers — are exempt from seatbelt and car-seat laws, according to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. (Passengers in cabs and similar vehicles can bring their own car seats and drivers have to let them install the seats.)

This car-seat feature is a fairly logical addition for Uber, which has also expanded into everything from delivery service to chopper rides. Uber has been very successful with millennials (who don’t care about owning cars), but as that demographic grows up and pops out babies and needs to shuttle those babies around dense urban areas, Uber has to pivot to accommodate them.

Of course, Uber is focused on more than just keeping a customer base as it shifts from needing a ride home from happy hour to needing a ride home from day care. As Kevin Roose explained last December, Uber’s future seems to lie in moving more than just people.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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Mark Berman | May 7