Federal employees turning to Uber, Lyft to make ends meet

By Government SpendingFOXBusiness

Help for government workers impacted by shutdown; AI technology developed to combat account sharing

Morning Business Outlook: Some businesses are offering relief to workers impacted by the partial government shutdown while the Senate passed a bill to provide back pay when the impasse ends; U.K.-based company unveils software it claims can combat the rapid rise in account sharing on streaming sites.

Friday marks the first day that more than 800,000 federal workers will not a get paycheck as the partial government shutdown over funding a border wall rolls into Day 21.

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And, many workers who are in limbo are reportedly turning to Uber and Lyft for work and it’s making resident ride-sharing drivers very upset.

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According to a local ABC7 News report, the shutdown is causing D.C.’s ride-sharing business to come to a screeching halt.

Ride-share diver Nate Murrell told the outlet that since the partial government shutdown started, more federal workers have turned into drivers causing existing drivers to lose revenue.

"With the government shutdown, you have more people working for the government doing Uber, and for the full-time Uber drivers, that is really affecting us too, and our money,” Murrell said.

Cliff Monroe, another resident ride-sharing driver in the area, added that over the last three weeks, business has completely slowed as its “bread and butter” comes from not only tourists but from federal workers themselves.

While a spokesperson for Uber declined to comment on the uptick, Lyft released a statement saying that it “understands the stress the current government shutdown is placing on furloughed employees and their families and encourage those in need of extra income to consider driving with Lyft.”

Over the last few weeks, many federal workers have been sharing their stories of trying to keep afloat among one of the longest government shutdowns in U.S. history. Many of them said they have been seeking loans, applying for unemployment and looking for other jobs as they can’t afford to miss one paycheck.

Rachael Weatherly, a senior adviser for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told U.S. News & World Report that she is trying to get a job at a grocery store to make ends meet.

The shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, is over a disagreement between Trump and Congressional Democrats over the funding of his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

On Wednesday, Trump vowed to continue the partial shutdown after walking out of a government-shutdown meeting with Democrats.

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The president tweeted, "Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"