Grab's aim: A booster seat in all its cars by mid-2017

Ride-hailing firm Grab will aim to have a child booster seat in all of its private-hire cars by the middle of this year.

The firm, in partnership with car seat manufacturer Carfoldio, is looking to equip its entire fleet with the compact mifold Grab-and-Go seats, which cost $99, but will be sold to its drivers at $30.

But for now, those travelling with their young children can select the GrabFamily option on the Grab app, to ensure they are allocated vehicles with the booster seats. The rides will cost $2 more than a normal GrabCar ride. There are now over 1,000 cars under the GrabFamily platform. Grab did not disclose how many private cars it has in its fleet in total.

But the mifold Grab-and-Go seats, which measure about 25cm by 13cm, are suitable only for those between the ages of four and seven.

GrabCar Singapore head Andrew Chan recommended that those with young children bring their own child seats. He said the firm is also exploring solutions for children below the age of four.

In January, Grab and its rival Uber were reminded by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) that under the Road Traffic Act, it is illegal for cars to carry passengers under 1.35m in height without a booster seat or a child restraint.

Taxis, which are considered "public service vehicles", are excluded from the ruling. The LTA earlier said this is because passengers can indicate if they require booster seats or child restraints when booking private-hire cars.

Some parents, like GrabCar user Carol Seet, 41, a housewife, said the needs of children younger than four should be considered too. "It's good that they are providing booster seats, but it would be better if they have something for those of us with younger children. Now we have to go back to using taxis," said Ms Seet, who has an 18-month-old son.

In overseas markets, Uber offers UberFamily, which allows passengers to request a child seat. The service is not currently available here.