After two years of disruptive construction to build the light rail line to St. Paul, University Avenue businesses are hopeful for better days ahead.
Minnesota Public Radio reports a year before regular rail service starts on the Green Line, several retail outlets are seeing customers return. The Ha Tien Market watched business drop off 40 percent during the worst of the construction that started in 2011. Now the owners tell MPR shoppers are coming back and they're optimistic the light rail line will bring in more than ever.
Not all of the businesses survived the disruption, however. The Minnesota Daily reports the geek mecca, General Nanosystems, is closing its doors at the end of the month. Owner Khalid Mahmood partly blames the construction for his decision to shutter the business.
Metro Transit, meanwhile is seeing a steady increase in riders. So far this year, the agency says 40 million people stepped on some form of public transit. More than one in ten of those rode the existing light rail service.