Furloughed Workers Turn to Uber and Lyft for Income in Shutdown

(Bloomberg) -- Federal government workers are commuting to Washington from Maryland and Virginia -- where they keep on driving, for Uber or Lyft.

Filld Inc., a mobile refueling service (“Gas delivered to your car”), fueled furloughed workers at two locations in the D.C. area on Wednesday. In an informal poll of the first seven vehicles lined up for free gas at Shiloh Church, six had started driving for at least one of the two ride-sharing services since the partial government shutdown started on Dec. 22.

Kenneth Clark, a Department of Transportation employee, was excited to get his Lyft approval Tuesday. He got the green light from Uber while waiting in line for gas from Filld.

“I’m about to do it right now,” he said, smiling.

Uber Technologies Inc. spokesman Matt Kallman said the company hasn’t been able to quantify the phenomenon. Lyft Inc. spokesman Adrian Durbin didn’t have data available.

Clark’s co-worker Irwin Pascal noted that several of his co-workers were driving as a source of temporary income.

“I’m thankful I have a vehicle,” he said. “I can Lyft, but not everyone can.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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