Ty Murray has worked at Union Station Shoe Shine for seven years. But during the shutdown, business slowed so much he had time to read the newspaper cover to cover.
“We lost half our daily regulars,” said Murray, as he scrubbed a customer’s black wing-tipped shoes with soap. “It was really thin inside the station.”
Murray, who mostly relies on walk-ins, said business went down by 50 percent during the shutdown. And he said his usual seven-day work week resembled the cash flow of three or four days, costing him thousands of dollars.
David King, a tour bus operator, said he was forced to take detours and stop on side streets for pick-ups because many of the roads he usually takes were closed during the shutdown.
“It was a whole big mess,” King said. “People came here from all around and didn’t get to see what they wanted to see.”
Kabul Singh said the seats of his taxicab carried half as many customers to their destinations during the shutdown. “Today is a little slow but maybe now it will go up,” said Singh as he waited in a taxicab line at Union Station.
The slowdown didn’t impact everyone, though. John Dankah, who has been a taxicab driver for 37 years, said his ridership remained pretty consistent.