Grab launches vehicles with child car seats

Nicholas Yong
Senior Correspondent
Mifold inventor Jon Sumroy (left) and Head of GrabCar Singapore Andrew Chan, with his son Gregory. Photo: Nicholas Yong

Ride-hailing app Grab has launched a fleet of vehicles equipped with child car seats.

More than 1,000 Grab cars have started serving GrabFamily bookings, where each vehicle is equipped with one booster seat for children aged between four and seven, and weighing between 15 and 36 kg.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday (9 March), Head of GrabCar Singapore Andrew Chan said that the goal is to put one child seat in every GrabCar vehicle by mid-2017. It’s part of a partnership with mifold, which produces ultra-compact portable child car seats that can be folded up to fit in a back pocket. The mifold seats are authorised for use in Singapore.

Grab drivers will be required to pay $30 for a mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat, which usually retails for $99. A GrabFamily booking will cost $2 more than a regular GrabCar ride.

Under Singapore’s Road Traffic Act, children under 1.35 metres in height must use appropriate child restraints when travelling in private-hire vehicles. The rule does not apply to taxis.

Last December, a passenger was alleged to have verbally abused a GrabCar driver and broken his windscreen wiper over his refusal to pick up the passenger, his wife and infant. The driver’s car was not equipped with a child seat.

Asked if Grab drivers still encounter similar situations where parents insist on boarding with their children, Chan told Yahoo Singapore, “We are encountering it less. I think that incident really sparked a much larger discussion across the country about what is the actual regulation, and the realisation that a lot of drivers have been operating illegally, contrary to the Road Traffic Act.

I think parents are also a lot more understanding of the fact that…certain drivers are now saying ‘look, I cannot put my rice bowl at risk’”.

GrabFamily is part of Grab’s push in recent months to cater to the needs of different passenger segments. GrabCoach, which caters to group travellers and corporate customers, made its debut last month, while carpooling service GrabShare was launched last December.