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I received work visa in Vancouver and we are moving there with my wife and a baby (16 months old) from Europe. We arrive at YVR on Sept. 30 and we were planning to use Uber or Lyft to get to the place of quarantine (AirBnb).

But as I understand the seats for toddlers are absent in their cars so I would like to understand - how can I get around without using public transport?

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    I believe that it's permissible (though discouraged) for travelers arriving in Canada to use public transit to get to their place of quarantine. See here, for example, where people arriving in Canada are told to use private transport to get to their quarantine "if possible." – Michael Seifert Sep 21 '20 at 12:52
  • some cabs have car seats even if uber and lyft don't – Kate Gregory Sep 21 '20 at 14:55
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According to the Vancouver Police Department:

Q: I am a visitor to Vancouver. Does my infant / child have to be in a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a taxi?

A: The driver or operator of a taxi is exempt from the Child Seating and Restraint regulations under Section 36.09(b) of the MVAR.

So you're allowed to take a taxi without using a child seat. Uber and Lyft has been legal in British Columbia since 2019, so this exemption likewise extends to their services.

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    Still, if there's an option to have a child seat, it'd be preferred even when not strictly required by law. – mlc Sep 22 '20 at 1:22
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    @mlc I fully agree, just wanted to add an alternative option to consider – JonathanReez Sep 22 '20 at 1:27
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If you have money to spare, consider using a "town car service" (also sometimes called a "limousine service", though it will not necessarily use a "stretch" limousine). These are services who will dispatch a car & driver to meet you at the airport at a specified time. They are often used for corporate travel and for peoples' special events, and so are more accustomed to fulfilling special requests, such as a car seat. As an added bonus, you will not have to deal with flagging down a cab, explaining where you're going, and worrying about the fare, as all of this is generally worked out when you're booking the car in the first place.

The downside is that it is generally more expensive. One firm I found lists a flat rate of 85 CAD for a transfer from YVR to downtown, and the car seat request may cost extra. In contrast, regular taxicab fare usually runs 35–40 CAD plus a gratuity, so around 40–45 CAD total. I'm not sure what Uber/Lyft fares usually are, but I would expect them to comparable to a taxicab fare.

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    Compared with the other costs of moving to a new country to work, the extra cost of a town car service is minimal. – DJClayworth Sep 21 '20 at 12:56
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    Thanks for your valuable input. The prices seem steep for this service, but it will be my plan B option. – Romans Sep 21 '20 at 15:26
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    @Romans Quite a number of years ago, my employer discovered it was actually cheaper to hire a "limo" (or town car service) to ferry business guests from the airport to hotels near our offices (located in the Midwest US, not Vancouver, BC) than it was to have them take a taxi. I don't know if this is still true or not. It's definitely worth doing some investigating. The "one firm" found by this answerer probably isn't the only game in town and others may be lower. – FreeMan Sep 22 '20 at 16:27
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We use foldable car seats for travel. I always take them on a trip in case a taxi doesn't have a child seat or booster. Due to the adjustable seatbelt strap, it is definitely safer than no child seat.

Price is not much more than getting a limousine, but you get to keep it.

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  • These seats have a minimum child weight of 40 pounds for the compact model or 33 pounds for the bigger model. Children usually don't reach 33 pounds before the age of 3.5-4 or 40 pounds before the age of 5 or so. So OPs 16 month old would not be a good fit. – JonathanReez Sep 22 '20 at 16:45
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An option to consider is one my son & daughter-in-law came up with for traveling with their small kids:

Using a bungee cord, he attaches the car seat to a foldable luggage cart. He straps the kid into the car seat using the normal belts, then drags the combo through the airport. Upon reaching their seats in the plane, he unstraps the car set and puts it in the kid's seat (using the airplane's lap-belt to hold it down), folds up the luggage cart and stows it overhead.

For the younger one, who is booked as a "lap child" and doesn't require his own ticket and seat, they either gate check the car seat (and luggage cart) as they would a stroller (i.e. they get it back on the jet-way right as they exit the aircraft), or the flight attendants will find a place for it in an in-cabin closet. If your airline can't/won't gate check the car seat, you could at least take it with you as checked luggage (be sure to secure all the straps so they don't get caught in luggage handling equipment), since reason would dictate that you'll want it for the ride to the airport as you leave your current location, and you'll want it for travel around Vancouver even if you don't immediately have/plan to purchase/rent/lease a car.

This makes toting the kids through the airport easier, as they're both strapped in tight and are on wheels, helps contain the older one (who can be a bit rowdy) while in the plane and gives him a good view out the window, and has the added benefit of having car seats for both of them available immediately upon arrival at their destination.

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  • Are you allowed to use car seats on planes? It might cause difficulties with evacuation of the plane in the event of an emergency. – nick012000 Sep 23 '20 at 5:16
  • As I understand it, they had the car seat on the window seat so it wasn't in anyone's way. Of course, it wasn't in a window exit aisle, as small children aren't allowed there in any situation (in the USA, at least). – FreeMan Sep 23 '20 at 10:52

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