Friday, December 23, 2005

Wal Mart in Canada is trying an experiment. Until 6 pm on Christmas Eve 9 Wal Mart stores will stay open 24 hours a day. One of them is the Saskatoon Preston Crossing outlet. Personally I doubt Saskatoon is currently a good market for the idea. There aren't enough shift workers who would be interested in shopping at 2 in the morning to provide enough regular customers. It doesn't help that the Preston Crossing store is located a bit out of the way for a casual shopper in the middle of the night to just drop in.

One of the things that the city needs to consider when updating its bus routes next year is improving service to Preston Crossing. Currently only two routes service the area, 22 and 27, and 27 only runs on a full schedule while the University of Saskatchewan is in regular session. The last bus out to Preston is 6:30 PM, limiting access to anyone who doesn't have an automobile, including employees of the stores at Preston Crossing. There should be more routes that access Preston Crossing more often. A route that connects the bus mall at the Centre at Circle and 8th to Preston Crossing would probably be a good idea, as residents of the east side of Saskatoon currently have to go downtown or to Place Riel on the University of Saskatchewan campus to catch a bus out there. The existing bus stops up there either need to have bus shelters installed or be moved closer to the actual stores.

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