Posted tagged ‘vancouver’

– Some Cambie Street merchants still suffering loss of business

September 15, 2009

The Province

Vancouver

By Suzanne Fournier

With Canada Line running for a month, customers slow to return

The Canada Line has been carrying commuters for almost a month, giving a big boost to some businesses but not much to those who bore the brunt of almost four years of construction chaos in their midst.

“So many customers left the Cambie Village because of the construction chaos and forgot about us for so long that it’s really hard to get business back,” complained Karyee Yip, who has owned Honey Gifts in the 3400-block Cambie St. for eight years and is trying to support her sons Jaden, six months, and Xavier, 2.

“The government says they support small to medium-sized businesses, yet we’ve had to bear the costs ourselves and we don’t get EI [employment insurance]. Many businesses are gone and now that the Line is running, it doesn’t help Cambie Village because there are no stops between Broadway and King Edward Village.”

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Transit workers keep system running while city sleeps

September 2, 2009

Vancouver Sun

By David Karp

METRO VANCOUVER — A scruffy middle-aged man carrying a Safeway bag filled with empty beer cans and a bulging garbage bag steps onto the bus. He squints as he puffs on his cigarette.

“Cigarette, please,” says bus driver Bubba Saini, with a patient but assertive tone of voice.

“Oh, sorry,” the man replies, his apology genuine. He tosses his cigarette out the front door of the bus.

The man fumbles through his pockets for 20 or 30 seconds until he finds his bus pass, showing it to Saini. He waddles to a seat just behind Saini, putting another cigarette in his mouth but not lighting it.

It would have been more comfortable for Saini if the transit security guard was still on board, but he had got off the bus minutes earlier when he noticed a man passed out on the sidewalk.

But the bus driver is not fazed. It’s all part of a normal night at the office for Saini, who has been driving buses for 10 years, often at night.

Saini, a smiling 49-year-old with a small black moustache, soul patch, shaved head and glasses, has seen almost everything driving at night. These days, he drives the No. 106 route from Metrotown to the New Westminster SkyTrain station, his shift starting at 6:45 p.m. and wrapping up around 3:45 in the morning.

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