It won't carry paying passengers for another year. But the Canada Line marked a major milestone Wednesday, launching a public test-run along a second of the track in Richmond, B.C.

When it's finished in 2009, the Canada Line SkyTrain system will be nearly 19 kilometres long and link downtown Vancouver with central Richmond and Vancouver airport

But as the massive project approaches the finish line, the controversy over the impact of Canada Line construction along Vancouver's Cambie Street hasn't ended. Merchants have taken their fight for compensation to the courts.

Gary Gautam is part of the class action lawsuit filed Wednesday against the builders of the Canada Line.

The convenience store owner says Canada Line construction decimated his business for three years. He estimates that he has lost more than $150,000 in revenue.

"It's not only me, everybody suffered,'' he said.

Gary Gautam says without compensation, Gautam says he'll never be able to recover his losses. He also says its small businesses like his that are bearing the real cost of the project.

Officials at Translink, the entity that will operate the Canada Line, will only say the matter is before the courts.

With a report by CTV British Columbia's Jina You.