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Mid-City Business Selected To Sell Compass Cards Following Albertsons Closure

Murphy's Market at 3596 Fairmount Ave. in City Heights is one of three locati...

Photo by Megan Burks

Above: Murphy's Market at 3596 Fairmount Ave. in City Heights is one of three locations now selling Compass Cards in the neighborhood.

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Speak City Heights is a media collaborative aimed at amplifying the voices of residents in one of San Diego’s most diverse neighborhoods. (Read more)

Albertsons closed its City Heights store last month — and with it, the community's only venue to buy monthly bus passes. But residents can now get their Compass Cards at locally owned Murphy's Market.

The new contract to sell transit passes might be the silver lining to the controversial store closure. The community is underserved by large grocery stores, making Albertsons departure feel like a giant step backward for many residents.

But the Metropolitan Transit System's partnership with City Heights businessman Mark Kassab improves access to transit passes and could help boost the neighborhood economy. It ups the number of Compass Card outlets in the community from one to three — a Chevron station and two Murphy's Market locations. And Kassab says it could help support the 120 residents he employs.

"When the customer comes in to buy that card, they're going to see our store, they're going to see our operation and they're going to see what we are offering them," Kassab said. "So we're hoping they're going to come and shop some more in our places."

MTS also partners with independent businesses in Encanto and National City. Compass Cards are still sold at 39 Albertsons stores.

A replacement tenant for the Fairmount Avenue storefront Albertsons previously occupied has not yet been found.

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