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Uber Courts Parents of Small Children With Uber Car Seat

Following offerings aimed at young drivers, Uber is now reaching out to even younger passengers.

More to the point, the parents of those young passengers, with a new service called Uber Car Seat, announced Tuesday (March 26) for customers in America’s two largest cities.

“Now available in New York City and Los Angeles, Uber Car Seat eliminates the need for parents and caregivers to bring their own car seat, making travel simple and stress-free,” Danielle Sipf, head of US&C Core Operations, wrote on the company blog. 

Uber said it has teamed with car seat company Nuna, giving drivers in the two cities access to the firm’s car seats, which fit children ranging from 5 to 65 pounds. 

“To request an Uber Car Seat ride, open your Uber app and enter your pickup and drop-off locations,” the post said. “Scroll through the list of available vehicle types to tap Car Seat, then select the date and time to reserve your ride.”

Uber last year introduced its teen accounts — for riders aged 13 to 17 — in May, with CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stressing the program’s emphasis on safety.

“We’ve designed teen accounts with built-in, privacy-preserving safety features including Verify My Ride, RideCheck and Audio Recording,” he wrote in a blog post at the time. “Plus, live trip tracking lets a parent follow the trip’s progress, so they know exactly where their teen is going and who is behind the wheel.”

More recently, the ride-hailing/delivery company introduced monthly spending limits to give parents additional oversight into how kids use the app.

“With spending limits, you can set a custom budget for your teen’s rides and meals for the entire month,” the company wrote in a blog post. 

“Spending limits can also be adjusted at any time to best meet your needs, and we’ll send you a notification when your teen’s monthly limit is almost up.”

The program offers parents three options to guide their children’s spending: unlimited; limited, which lets them customize a monthly budget; and no spending allowed, which means the teenager is prevented from ordering rides or food.

In other recent Uber news, the company and its rival Lyft said earlier this month they would suspend operations in Minneapolis starting May 1 after that city’s council approved legislation requiring that drivers be paid a minimum wage of $15.57 per hour.

Uber said it was “disappointed” in the council’s decision and said the law will put 10,000 people out of work.