SOLANA BEACH — Residents, city officials and representatives from North County Transit District and the business community were on hand for a March 2 ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil a community marketing system that highlights the city and its businesses to public transit customers.
“When you come to a new city, you’re hungry and you want new stuff,” Mayor Lesa Heebner said while describing the benefits of the prototype system. She also said it will enhance the concept of Solana Beach as a walkable city.
Located at the Cedros Avenue train station, the system features a mounted flat-screen TV that will run a slide show, “Surprising Solana,” highlighting things to do and see in the city. It also includes a touch-screen kiosk that offers specific information on what to do and where to shop and eat.
Users can display and print restaurant menus, coupons and maps that provide directions and distances from the train station to a desired destination.
The system can be easily updated and Matt Tucker, NCTD executive director, said it will eventually be expanded to include regional information. It will also be evaluated for use at other NCTD stations.
Heebner said the project is the result of an “extraordinary collaboration” between the city, its residents, NCTD, the Chamber of Commerce, Cedros Design District and the Highway 101 Merchants Association.
“Technology is a wonderful thing,” Heebner said. “Collaboration is a beautiful thing.”
Tucker agreed. “This is a good example of (everyone) working together to support the betterment of the community,” he said. “You never do big things by yourself.”
The system cost between $10,000 and $15,000 and was funded by a private donation from Solana Beach residents Peter House and Carol Childs.
“Somebody’s got to do it,” House said. “This is our way of giving back.”