Metro man volunteers his day to give voters free ride to the polls

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Long lines greeted some voters at the polls Tuesday, but many metro voters took advantage of free rides to get there.

In fact, one local volunteer made it his mission to make sure voters didn't have an excuse to skip a trip to the polls this Election Day.

“I no longer drive, so I take Lyft quite often, and I wanted to make sure I got out there,” voter Tiffany Johnson said.

“I was happy to hear that I could actually get out. I didn't think I'd be able to get out and vote today,” voter James Leslie said. “A lot of people don`t have ways of getting around, but considering he`s giving me a ride -- awesomeness.”

Access to transportation is cited as one of the top reasons many registered voters don't vote.

“You get one chance to put in your two cents, and it`s up to you to take that opportunity or not,” Johnson said.

This time around many companies stepped up, offering free or discounted rides, including ride-share companies, bike sharing and scooter services -- and one metro man named Juan.

“I normally drive for a ride share service that delivers food. But to help get folks to the polls, I signed up with Lyft, trying to get voters out to help participate in Election Day,” said Juan Montiel-Heath, who spent the whole day driving voters to the polls.

FOX4's Melissa Stern rode along with Juan as he spent Election Day making sure voters in the metro could easily and affordably get to their polling location.

“My wife and I, we've been kind of sitting around waiting for someone else to do something, and we finally realized it was time for us to get off the couch and get involved ourselves,” Montiel-Heath said.

Montiel-Heath helped campaign and canvass for the last few weeks, going door to door to encourage people to vote.

“I wanted to do something just a little bit more," he said. "That's why I signed up for a service to help drive voters to the polls today."

The Kansas City ATA offered free bus rides and voters could also take a free Lime Scooter to the polls. Uber and Zipcar also offered discounted rates.

“It's allowing everybody to participate in the process,” voter Deborah Gutteridge said.

“It just gets more people out to vote. Some people just don`t have transportation,” voter Steve Fry said.

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