Grabcar vehicles to feature child booster seats

SINGAPORE — All GrabCar vehicles will soon come with child booster seats, offering parents with young children more rides to choose from.

Announcing the move on Thursday (March 9), Grab said more than 1,000 GrabCar drivers have already received the seat, with the rest of its fleet to be outfitted in the next few months, enlarging its GrabFamily service which began with 150 vehicles.

GrabFamily, introduced last August, allows passengers to book a GrabCar vehicle equipped with a child seat at a fee of S$2 more than a regular ride.

Under the Road Traffic Act, children less than 1.35m tall must use a child restraint while riding in a private-hire car.

Head of GrabCar Singapore Andrew Chan said: “We’re creating an inclusive shared transport system to serve more families with young children and also provide additional income opportunities for our driver-partners.”

The mifold Grab-and-Go car seat, available through Grab’s partnership with compact car-seat maker Carfoldio, caters for children aged four to seven, who weigh between 15kg and 36kg. Drivers buy them at a S$30 subsidised rate.

Going forward, Mr Chan said that Grab was looking to team up with polytechnics or universities here to design a seat that works for the “ride-hailing environment”, especially since drivers pick up children of varying ages and needs.

The mifold restraint is one-tenth the size of a regular child booster seat.

Instead of working like regular booster seats which lift the child to an adult’s position, the seat holds the seatbelt down to fit across the child’s chest and hips, instead of the stomach and neck.

A Grab survey of 520 parents conducted here last month revealed that about one in three (35 per cent) owned a child restraint, with only 8.5 per cent of them taking one out when they were not driving.

Less than half (46 per cent) of the respondents were willing to fork out a premium to use child restraints offered by private-hire car firms.