Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – It’s not just about leaving and arriving at any given destination, according to organizers of a pop-up Metro Market event in University City Wednesday afternoon.

They say there’s a real potential for economic growth in areas adjacent to transit stations.

Executive Director of Citizens for Modern Transit and event co-organizer, Kim Cella, said while the event that featured lots of food, entertainment and other activities was staged to prove a point – she’s confident that the same thing can happen organically as well.

“This is a way to peak the public’s interest, grow that grassroots support and really push for an advocacy for development around our transit system in the region,” she explained.

The event took place at the Historic Wabash Station at 6005 Delmar Blvd in The Loop. One of the attractions was the first of three trolley cars that will be up and running by late summer, according to system officials.

metro2 Pop Up Market Shows Potential For Economic Growth Around Transit Stations

(KMOX/Brett Blume)

AARP was the co-sponsor and Outreach Director Sheila Holm said she believes older adults would approve of the warm atmosphere and would feel safe in a bustling public location.

“I believe it is partly safety in numbers, but it’s also familiarity,” Holm said. “It’s like ‘Oh yeah, I can identify with that. That’s my space!'”

The activities were organized in response to recent “walking audits” that took place at three key MetroLink stations.

Those audits helped to identify short-term and long-term recommendations for improving the functionality of the stations and making Metro destinations safer and more vibrant.

An action plan is now being pieced together with the Pop-Up Market providing stakeholders, riders and the public a peek at what is possible.

Cella hopes it helps to spur action soon on the long-studied subject of MetroLink expansion.

“We’re the regional transit advocacy organization,” she said. “We were formed to bring light rail to St. Louis so we don’t think our job is done here yet. We have 46 miles, 37 stations (currently in place) but we have a long way to go, whether it’s the expansion of light rail, a reinvisioning of our bus system or bus rapid-transit…there is more that we can do.”

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