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A ride to PDX Int'l: Taxis with Carseats?

Gearing up for holiday travel, urbanMamas want to know: how do you get to PDX airport without having to check-in the carseat?

My husband and I are taking our 6+ month old daughter to Connecticut for Christmas and are hoping to avoid having to bring a car seat along.  We have one waiting for us at the other end (thanks grandma!).  Our plan was to take either a taxi or shuttle to the airport.  Does anyone know of a good company that will provide one?  From about half an hour of Google searches nothing comes up.  If we did have to bring out own, anyone have any experience with storing things in a locker at the airport?  Good/bad?


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We skipped it. Thinkin' Mexico, NYC, London. No-one uses car seats in taxis. Strap him/her on your lap with you, IMHO, it's not worth the extra schlepping. Good luck!

I don't think you can store things in airport lockers in a post 9/11 world. The only lockers I've seen at PDX are past security and have notes saying you can't use them anymore.

How much stuff are you taking? The beauty of living in Portland is the MAX takes you right to the airport. We always take full advantage of it when we don't need to take the car seat.

Why not call the local cab and shuttle companies? I'm sure they might have special accomodations for families with young ones. I agree about not schlepping gear. I have traveled with my son since he was 2 1/2 months old. Thanks to my parents (whom we visit every 3 months on the East Coast) I dont have to bring anything but me, the baby, my sling, and my backpack with our clothes and a carry on daypack for diapers,toys, and a lovey blanket.

To echo the MAX suggestion, perhaps you could get another mama/papa friend to drive your family to the nearest station in exchange for sitting or similar? (And arrange for pickup) Also, the economy lot is $14/day, so you might find the cost of parking there is equivalent to roundtrip cab fare. We live in SE PDX, and at $70 roundtrip, we almost always just drive in and park.

I don't think car seats are required for taxis, buses, or shuttles. We have had our pet/house sitter drive our car to drop off and pick up. Neighbors are good for that too. If you can afford it, use the long term or even short term lot that way you have your car with gear attached. MAX is an excellent option.

we travelled with our car seat to mexico and it was so not worth it:( I think taxis are exempt from the car seat.

We always take MAX.

Glad to see this post. I was just talking to a friend about train trips and wasn't sure if babies were required to be in car seats on a train. If so, does Amtrak provide them by chance?

TJ: I have never seen a car seat on Amtrak, and I travelled with my then-14-month-old to California with nothing but a sling and a few blankets. we were fine without a car seat and I don't even know how you'd strap one in. it's the same concept as riding the bus or max.

Call the shuttle companies. I found that most I spoke with will have car seats available and will even have different sizes (bucket vs. forward facing). Check the installation yourself however. I found the seat was improperly installed when the driver arrived to pick us up. It was a quick fix though.

Carseats are required in Taxi Cabs in Oregon. Mind you, many many cabbies will not enforce this, but there are some who are very strict about children riding. I'd try MAX or ask a friend for a ride.

I forgot to mention that I always take bus/max to the airport, with or without baby; the littlest ones ride the sling or the backpack and, no matter how much luggage we're lugging, we always seem to manage. I've even traveled this way with just myself and the baby on business trips. the only time this doesn't work is for *super* early flights (6 a.m.); the first max gets you there a bit late for those.

The City of Portland requires that carseats are used in taxis. Many taxi drivers might not enforce this, but some do, and you never know until you are stranded at your house trying to get to the airport

So, taxis are NOT exempt from car seats in Portland. I used to use the same thinking as LTF and others who posted...After living in DC and traveling tons where carseats are never used in taxis, I never used carseats for my kids for the quick (10 mins from our house) trip to the airport here, since we wouldn't need them at our destination. I had no idea about the city regulation, since I guess previous cab drivers never said anything to me!

HOWEVER, two months ago, a cab driver *refused* to take me to the airport w/out carseats for my kids, stating that he could be fined (even though I said I was okay with not having them.)

So, yes, call the taxi company directly for accurate info!

As for me, at that point, standing on my curb with two kids, a bunch of luggage, I didn't have enough time to take the bus/MAX, and I'm grateful to my friend's husband who got me and my kids to the airport in time for my flight!

Lots of good suggestions here, and yes, we've had mixed experiences with the carseat taxi/shuttle issue.

For the last 2 years or so we have been using a shuttle service that we really like, and are happy to recommend. Travis Wilson is the owner (and primary driver) for TJW Shuttle service. He's a really nice guy, is dependable, his vans are in nice clean condition and his prices are competitive. He brought a carseat along for us one time when he was not sure if we'd need it or not. Call him and ask him if he has a bucket seat for your infant--the one he brought was for our toddler.

His number is 503.969.8961 or website is TJWShuttle.com I believe.

The law is actually kind of complicated. Neither Oregon nor Portland law requires taxi cab drivers to carry or use carseats. Theoretically, the parent (who is not driving the cab, of course) could be ticketed for not using a carseat, although I imagine pigs will fly first. If you want verification, call the city agency that regulates taxis.

Different cab companies in Portland have different policies. In theory, Green Cab requires a carseat; in theory Radio Cab does not. Some store carseats in their garage, and you may be able to arrange a pickup, although you will probably have to install it yourself. And they will probably charge extra.

If you are at the airport taxi queue and your destination doesn't seem lucrative enough for the driver, you'd better have a carseat, because he can use it as a reason to legitimately refuse a fare. To avoid this scenario, you might want to make arrangements in advance with the cabbie who originally dropped you off to pick you up on your return.

From a safety point of view, there are a lot of people who will rail at you for not using one, letting a small child use an adult seat belt, or belting the child with the adult. And they'll do it with slide shows, physics equations, statistics and insults. For what it's worth.

We park at AirPark which is not far from the airport, then take their shuttle to the terminal. It's super easy, and last time we did it (which was a while ago, so it's probably increased) it was $8 a day. As long as we're away for less than a week it ends up being cheaper for us to do this than to take a cab there and back.

I just checked AirPark (we are heading there this afternoon!) and it's now $9/day, but $8 with a printable coupon.

I think this is an obvious one, but just because it's a taxi, doesn't mean they don't get into accidents. I can't imagine not putting my child in a car seat. Why take the risk? It just takes one quick moment to change everything. Good luck with your trip.

I dont know why people have a crazy idea its okay to be without a carseat in a taxi. They are just normal cars and don't have a special safety shield around them or anything...

We have always, always had our son in a car seat in Taxis to the airport. Given the aggressive way some of the drivers drive, its a must for us. A quick caution we have had a few bad experiences with Taxi drivers not waiting until we have him buckeled in to jump away from the curb. My husband and a driver almost came to blows over an incident this last spring when my son was thrown back into his car seat because we were only just setting him into the seat when the driver decided to hit the accelerator.

Then again, just yesterday when we left, the Taxi driver helped belt the carseat in before loading the trunk and was wonderfully helpful. Its very hit or miss.

Carseats are a pain to lug around, but when you've had family killed in car accidents and know the true danger of NOT being appropriately belted in (as an adult or child) the inconveniance becomes minor by comparison. Ever consider the physics of an accident when you are belted in with your child, your mass, the mass of the child and the force put on the child when squeezed between you and the belt?

We just had our friend drive to our house and we dorve them to the airport in her car and drove her car back to our house for a few days...we should all do this for neighbors and friends--everyone is safe and it's only the "cost" of friendship!
If you're in Rose City Park I'll even do it for you!
good luck!

I can't believe how many posts went until Erin & Jen spoke the obvious truth. Car seats serve a purpose, and judging from the posts on this site, why would we risk our kids for a bit of convenience? Just because people in NYC or London do it?

As a full-time public transportation rider with a five-month old baby, I understand a few things:

1. Taking the bus and/or MAX with a baby and luggage is a real pain (I've done it)
2. Taking a car with a baby and luggage is a real pain (I've also done this)
3. Usually taking public transportation isn't that bad, it's just that we're so geared up to be inconvenienced that we get what we expect

In your case, I'd pack as lightly as possible (which I know is still a lot of stuff), and take the bus to the MAX. If you can't do that, I'd take the carseat because taxis travel faster and much more aggressively than buses, and aren't in a separate protected space like trains.

Like MollyH, we've used AirPark. Depending on the length of the trip, it costs about as much or less than taxi fare. An added perk is that, the shuttle picks you up and drops you off at our car.

We've done a mix of things - if we have early flights (meaning we have to leave our house at 4:30am or something) then we call a cab and bring our carseat along. We've had great luck with prompt and friendly drivers from Radio Cab. They don't mind waiting a few minutes for you to install the seat.

It's even more convenient to have a neighbor drop us off or pick us up. We're lucky to have good relationships with our neighbors who have little kids. And we're always happy to reciprocate!

We live near the MAX, but I agree that walking the 1/2 mile with toddler and all the gear in tow is out for now. I save that for my solo trips.

We've used the GoGo Babyz that attaches to the convertible carseat and makes it into a stroller - very convenient for wheeling through the airport.
Now that our son is a bit older, we've got a CARES harness to use on the plane (FAA approved!) and we check the carseat.

I'm posting late to this but it came up in my searching for a solution to our similar problem. One thing we've done in previous years (and probably will do again next week!), is drive to the MAX station, drop everything and everyone (but the driver) off, and then the driver goes home, leaves the car there and walk to the station. Of course, this only works if you are within (adult) walking distance to a MAX station! Cheaper, no carseat issue, easier to lug things, no worries about fitting everything into a car trunk, and you won't need to fold up your stroller until you go through security!

thanks leah for the airport shuttle recommendation. we have a 6 am flight√°nd the trimet doesnt run early enough in our univ of portland neighborhood. $40 base fee plus $5 additional adult, kids under 13 free. driver is providing infant seat for our 6 week old. if you are traveling same time and area, let us know at 503.939.7745.
happy winter travels!

I know this is an old post. But can anyone recommend which taxi cos will bring a car seat?
There is only one resource in this thread.
We are MAXing to PDX but our flight back arrives at midnight; too late to ask a neighbor. Thanks

Just called TJWShuttle.com (503.969.8961) and they do have car seats (but can't go to Vancouver, WA so nixed that). Nobody else did - not Broadway Cab, Radio Cab, Blue Star Transport...

It's really awful that taxis aren't forced to use child seats. In London, where I come from, if the customer requires then it's a MUST that the taxi comes equipped with a child seat. Indeed, they cost about 5£ but you all know that no sum of money is too much for the safety of our babies.

Kind regards,

I found that Simon Says Transportation will provide car seats for $5.00. Their number is 503-998-1818.

We are taking MAX to the airport and returning at 1:00 am. Our plan is to have my husband take a cab home and come back with our car with a booster. It's kind of a pain, but we don't live too far from PDX and didn't want to harass our family at 1:00 am.

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