Uber, Lyft driver offering free rides to federal workers during shutdown

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A Wichita rideshare driver is using his vehicle to help others during the partial government shutdown.

Anthony Garner, who drives for Uber and Lyft, says he is offering free rides to government and contract employees affected by the shutdown.

"There are families out there that could use an extra hand and if that means getting them from A to B, I'm happy to do it," Garner said.

He says he sees more drivers on the map while he is out picking up passengers.

"There are plenty more drivers on the road even here in Wichita and I know in the larger cities--they have signed up for Uber," says Garner. "It's a great way to make up that extra income," Garner said.

The first day of the shutdown, he picked up a contract worker who had been laid off. During the ride, the man called his wife to explain what happened.

"I empathized with him, to think that I'd have to call my wife and tell her I'd been fired--right after Christmas--and how that would impact my life."

Garner says the man asked him for another ride at a later date and that is when he decided to start driving government and contract workers for free.

"I know that people are going to start needing help," Garner said. "The first paycheck they won't be receiving in two weeks."

Eyewitness News reached out to Uber and Lyft for driver application data. Uber declined to comment while Lyft didn't have the information readily available.

A Lyft spokesperson is encouraging anyone who needs extra cash to consider driving for the company.

Garner says anyone affected by the shutdown can visit his Facebook page to get a ride for free.