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METRO_Light_Rail_Tri-City_StationLiving in San Diego for seven years, I remember utilizing the trolley system there and always thought it was be a great idea for Phoenix to have one. And years later – they did! (I believe this was the beginning of all dust and dirt that creates the haboobs we experience today!)

The voters in 2004 approved of the 3.2 mile extension of the light rail along 19th Avenue from Montebello to Dunlap be completed, but construction was put on hold due to budgeting. Now, it was recently announced that plans are back on track with a completion in 2016.

What does this mean for Valley business owners that are concerned about losing customers over the next couple years? Valley Metro has created a marketing plan to encourage residents and shoppers to continue supporting their neighborhood businesses by setting up a “rewards program” that is “available through social media, smartphones and online.”

With the ease of social media these days, I would also encourage business owners along the construction route to really engage with their customers. Continue to create events and special discounts. Provide detailed information on how to easily access their location during construction. Increase your outdoor signage on where customers can go to park. There are so many tools and steps businesses can utilize to make it easy on customers during this construction phase.

In 2013, the Valley Metro set a record of 74 million people using the light rail and bus system, so clearly there is a need and a want of residents for this transit system to be in place. HMA has worked with transit since the early 80s. We’ve been a stronger supporter of what transit means to a city like ours. Whether you ride the bus or take the train, public transit makes our city better.

Whitney Liem
Whitney Liem
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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