MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ) - In Macomb County, a jury summons now comes with a driver.
The court has entered into a first-of-its-kind partnership with ride-hailing business Uber to provide free or discounted transportation for residents called to serve on a jury.
Jurors will now receive an Uber code good for a $20 ride each way or $40 round-trip to and from Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens.
County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh said the credit should cover the full cost of a ride in most cases. Jurors who live further away might need to pay a portion of the actual cost.
"We're really excited about it. We wanted to have our jurors come to jury duty and not be frustrated by trying to find a parking spot," Sabaugh told WWJ's Laura Bonnell. "Uber will pick them up at their home and take them to downtown Mount Clemens for jury duty and then at the end, it will take them back home."
Sabaugh said they also wanted a solution that would help jurors who are worried about driving in bad weather -- especially in the winter.
"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. 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," she said.
How Does The Program Work?
After jurors receive a summons and answer the online questionnaire, they will get a unique link to create an Uber account. Jurors who choose to use the offer will be picked up at their home and dropped off at the court building in Mount Clemens. Jurors may also use their Uber code to request a ride home from the court building.
The 60 day pilot project comes at no cost to the Macomb County budget.
"It isn't costing the county anything and it isn't costing the juror any money," said Sabaugh. "Uber is picking up the cost of it, for any juror that responds to it."
How Does Uber Works?
When a rider requests a ride through the free Uber smartphone app, they see available cars on a map. The nearest driver is alerted of the ride request and is given the rider's pick up location. The rider then receives detailed information about the driver, including his or her first name, photo and Uber rating, and the vehicle's make, model, and license plate number. While both the rider's and driver's phone numbers are made anonymously through Uber's technology, they have a direct line of contact to one another if needed.
When the rider reaches his or her destination, they are automatically charged for the ride through a seamless, cashless transaction. The rider immediately receives an electronic receipt via email.
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