A county is launching a pilot program that would let "transit-disadvantaged" customers call in for Uber rides

Ride service Uber is testing out a feature in Florida that would allow users without smartphones to to request a ride. The pilot program is launching in Pinellas County on July 18, and will provide one subsidized ride a month. The free Uber rides are only offered in a designated area during work hours, and callers will have to explain why they need the ride (although it isn’t just for emergencies: grocery shopping qualifies, too).

Uber will provide the call-in software that will send Uber drivers to customers, and Pinellas County will pay Uber directly for the rides. According to Christopher Cochran, a senior planner at the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, “This is going to dramatically change the efficiency with which transit-disadvantaged people can access the system.”

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