Canceling an Uber trip because the rider does not have a child safety seat

Uber sent me a ride request yesterday afternoon. When I arrived at the passenger’s location, a woman walked out of the house carrying a baby in a basket-style baby carrier. It did not look like an approved child safety seat. I didn’t see how it could be strapped into with a seatbelt. I didn’t see her child strapped into the carrier.

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What to do when a Lyft passenger does not have a car seat for their child

If you drive for Lyft, I’m sure you’ve found yourself in the following situation: you arrive at the passenger’s location only to find out they have a small child, but they don’t have a car seat. Lyft requires passengers with small children to have a proper car seat.

From Lyft’s Help Center, under Children (17 and younger):

We’re happy to give kids a ride as well as adults as long as your children have the proper car seats that fit legal requirements in your state and city. Plan on providing your own car seat for children that require one.

Even though Lyft requires a car seat for children who need one, too many parents don’t have a car seat. If you cancel the ride because of a lack of a car seat, Lyft will not compensate you.

Unlike Uber, Lyft will only pay you a cancelation fee if the rider is not at the location they requested. This is not right. You’re adhering to local laws and Lyft’s own policy, yet you’re not properly compensated for it. You have to handle a rider with a small child, but without a car seat, a little differently than you would with Uber.

Ask the passenger to cancel the ride request

After explaining to your rider you cannot give them a ride without a car seat for their child, kindly ask them to cancel the ride. Wait for them to cancel the ride. If after a few minutes of waiting and they have not canceled the ride, call them through the app and ask again. If they refuse to do so, cancel the ride after the timer in the app ticks down to the point it allows you to cancel the ride. Make sure to select “Passenger is a no-show” as the reason.

Until Lyft changes its policy, this is the only way you’ll be compensated. Technically, it’s valid. The passenger did not show up at the designated pick-up point with a required safety device for their child.