Thunder, lightning and a heavy downpour reflected the mood of drivers and staff as news of the termination sank in at the North Point terminus last night. Many abandoned games of chess, leaving the recreation room to walk and ponder their future. Route 23 driver Sin Pak-cheung, 64, has been with the company for more than 30 years. 'This is the end of an era. The bus company has been a part of Hong Kong and its people for so long,' he said. 'I will miss the job and my co-workers. When you have worked so long at the same place you have to feel a bit sentimental. But I would have to retire next year even if this didn't happen.' With all three children grown up, Mr Sin was unfazed about the possibility of losing his job. His route covers North Point to Mid-Levels and he makes about $20,000 a month by working 1.5 shifts, or 12 hours a day. He gets five days off a month. Mr Sin expects about $250,000 in compensation, including severance and long service pay. 'It's long hours and it's tough. But the pay now is not too bad,' he said. Station master Mr Ko, 64, was disheartened, saying he had spent nearly half his life at the company. 'I've always prepared for this day and my future now lies in the hands of the new franchisee,' said Mr Ko, who started as a fare collector. Another driver, who was a CMB employee for eight years, said: 'I've no idea where to go from here. I can only take one step at a time at the moment.' Other staff directed their anger at senior management which they accused of forcing such a scenario through years of neglect within the company.