Uber vs Grab: We weigh the options for traveling safely with your little ones
We compare the family geared products from Singapore's biggest ride-share programs to help you decide which app to use.
Many people live in Singapore without ever owning a car. Between the costs associated with car ownership and the convenience of getting around our small island, unless you’re frequently driving long distances, it makes sense why many families don’t own one.
Where do you turn when you need to travel across the island with your little ones in tow and don’t have access to your own vehicle? Before ride-share companies Uber and Grab landed on our shores, families had to either carry car seats for the kids or else hold them in their laps during the ride since car seats are not mandatory in taxis according to Singapore law.
We attended the Uber car seat launch yesterday (14 June), where it was revealed that Singapore has a high fatality rate when it comes to unrestrained children in vehicular accidents: three times as many babies died in car accidents in Singapore in 2014 as compared to the US.
Also mentioned at the event was a recent report by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital that points at that more than 50% of the children who present to KKH’s ER from accidents between 2012-2015 were not restrained at all.
In a move to combat this issue, at least in car hires, both Uber and Grab have developed products where parents can select cars with baby seats. We have the details on both services to help tAp readers choose the right one for their family.
What’s the service?
Uber is rolling out their latest product, the IMMI Car Seat, as a pilot project starting June 15th, 2017. The car seat is designed for children who are aged 12 months and up, weigh from 10-25 kilogrammes and a maximum height of 1.45 metres.
Drivers who joined the pilot project have received comprehensive training in how to install, adjust, clean and store the fully adjustable IMMI Car Seat.
The program was developed as a result of a partnership with certified child passenger technician and Taxi Baby CEO, Elise Mawson.
How do I use it?
When booking your taxi, after entering your location and destination addresses, scroll right through the booking options until you get to the Extra Seats section, select “Car Seat” and book as normal.
Is there any fee?
Yes, the Car Seat adds an additional $5 to your fare.
How many vehicles will be available with this service?
When the pilot program originally rolls out, there will be 100 drivers participating. According to Uber Singapore GM Warren Tseng, they will add a few hundred more drivers over the next few months, based on demand.
For more information, you can find Uber's press release here.
What’s the service?
Grab launched their GrabFamily service earlier this year with an exclusive partnership with Mifold who specialises in ultra-compact child booster seats. With the announcement of this partnership, all GrabCars were equipped with Mifold’s Grab-and-Go child booster seats which are designed to increase the safety of children aged four to seven and the entire fleet of drivers received training on how to safely and efficiently install the booster seats.
Additionally, GrabFamily riders are now covered by Grab’s Group Personal Accident Insurance at no extra cost to the passengers.
According to Andrew Chan, Head of GrabCar Singapore, the company is working to expand their product offering and have designed a prototype of a seat suitable for younger children, aged 18 to 36 months. More details about that product will be revealed later in the year.
How do I use it?
When you open the app to book your taxi, scroll down through the options to “GrabFamily” and then enter your pickup and drop-off locations as normal.
Is there an extra fee?
Yes, the car seat adds an additional $2 to your fare.
How many vehicles GrabFamily vehicles are available?
According to their latest announcement, Grab has tripled to the size of their GrabFamily fleet and there are now over 3,000 GrabCar vehicles that can respond to GrabFamily requests.
Both services have their pros and cons. On one hand, the GrabFamily surcharge is about half the cost of Uber’s and Grab has a significantly larger fleet. On the other hand, the flexibility of IMMI’s Go Car Seat means that a wider range of children can take advantage of its safety features.
Have you tried either Uber's Car Seat or GrabFamily? Tell us about your experience in the comments!