“Thank you for a memorable 44 years, we will miss you,” reads a sign outside of the Langley White Spot on the corner of Fraser Highway and Willowbrook Drive, which officially closed on Dec. 30 due to the SkyTrain expansion project.
As a highly popular and frequently-visited restaurant unique to B.C., White Spot will not take a big financial drop from the closure. However, the employees may face a crisis as they look for a new job, if not relocated to other White Spot locations.
Similar to these employees, smaller businesses along the SkyTrain expansion route may take massive hits if forced to shut down like White Spot did. These businesses lack the resources to recover from the loss incurred by the SkyTrain track construction, contrasting from well-funded retailers.
The government and project planners should try to reduce the adverse effects of the expansion on businesses, especially small businesses affected by the construction. This can be done by implementing strategies like compensation for losses and assistance with temporary relocation.
While no small business should be forced to shut down its operations, it’s also important to remember the long-term goal of having efficient transport, which is key to convenient living.
The SkyTrain currently connects communities in and around the City of Vancouver and has made it convenient for transit-goers to visit far-off places and famous visiting sites like Stanley Park and Playland Amusement Park .
The advantages of affordability with the SkyTrain expansion highly outweigh the disadvantages, especially in today’s time where everything from homes to food has become more expensive because of high demand.
SkyTrain services offer various travel cards which are comparatively lower than other modes of transportation, so much so that it’s become the lifeline of travel to Vancouver as even those who have sworn by their cars are parking at the closest station and travelling by Skytrain. A public transportation system also contributes to economic sustainability in reducing gas emissions.
The SkyTrain has become a vital component of people’s lives in and around Vancouver, and its Surrey-Langley expansion is a game changer for accessible and affordable transportation in the long run. It is designed with accessible amenities for the convenience of passengers, including senior individuals who may find it difficult to travel throughout the city and low-income populations who may not be able to afford cars. Overall, the SkyTrain ensures efficient transport to various parts of cities across the Lower Mainland.
The first time I boarded the SkyTrain, I experienced the bustle of the city as people hurried through the station to catch their trains. As the doors opened, I entered the train and joined other passengers who were trying to find seats. The doors slid open again as I got closer to my favourite stop of all time, MetroTown Station on the Expo Line, and I stepped out to sprint towards my favourite bakery, Saint Germain. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new stops on the Surrey-Langley expansion have to offer.