Free Uber Rides Hailed By Michigan Jurors

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Peter Fricke Contributor
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Jury duty has become slightly less onerous for residents of Detroit’s northern suburbs, who now receive free Uber rides to and from the courthouse.

Macomb County, which lies directly north of Detroit, is conducting a 60-day pilot program in partnership with the ridesharing firm to offer jurors Uber codes worth up to $40 for the round trip, according to The Macomb Daily.

The program is slated to run until August 15, at which point the county will consider whether it should continue. (RELATED: Domestic Abuser Walks Free Thanks to Tom Hanks)

“The right to a jury of your peers is fundamental to our democracy, and Uber is helping Macomb County put innovation into the justice system to safeguard this right,” Macomb County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh said in a statement. “Uber’s technology connects jurors with safe rides, frees up parking in the city, and creates an opportunity for Macomb County residents to earn extra cash by driving jurors to court to do their civic duty.”

Sweetening the deal for local residents, “It isn’t costing the county anything and it isn’t costing the juror any money,” Sabaugh told CBS Detroit. “Uber is picking up the cost of it, for any juror that responds to it.”

Uber describes its participation as a sort of public service, though the company will presumably not object if the free rides induce new users to sign up for its app. (RELATED: France Takes Uber Execs Into Custody)

“Uber believes that getting a safe and affordable ride should be an option for everyone,” Mike White, general manager of Uber Michigan, told The Macomb Daily. “If we are able to come together as a community to minimize transportation deserts, civic participation will grow.”

To take advantage of the offer, jurors must take an online questionnaire when they receive their summons, after which they receive a link allowing them to set up an Uber account. From there, it is simply a matter of arranging the rides through the Uber app. (RELATED: Report: Brad Pitt’s Fame Gets Him Out of Jury Duty)

“We’ve ran it for about two weeks so far to see if there were any glitches and it’s really, it’s set to go,” Sabaugh told CBS. “It’s a really safe way for them to get to jury duty and to be relaxed when they get there, you know, instead of trying to find parking places, find the court building.”

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