Friday, February 27, 2015

Union Station(s) in Denver

More from my ramblings around Denver last week.

If you've taken the RTD bus from Longmont to Denver in the last thirty years, you were probably familiar with Market Street Station, the termination point in Denver.  In mid-2014, the new RTD Union Station Bus Concourse was opened a few blocks away.  Market Street Station was closed and is now temporarily an underground parking garage.  Future plans have the site turning into a mixed-use development.

Closed RTD Market Street Station

And now to reveal some confusion I had about Denver's Union Station(s).  This is what I consider Union Station:  the elegant train station on Wynkoop that has recently been renovated and now includes a hotel and some restaurants inside.  It is where people go to catch an Amtrak train.

Inside revamped Union (train) Station:

Amtrak schedule:

The new $480 million RTD bus station is called Union Station Bus Concourse and it is supposedly connected to the Union Train station above but I couldn't find the way to go between the two last week other than a 10-minute walk on the city sidewalks above.  So I was confused, because these two Union Stations are different structures but have the same name.  I'm sure it will become more clear in future visits.

The new bus station.  It's also below ground like Market Street Station was.  

In seeing this sparkling new station for the first time, I couldn't help but to think of a variation of the name of a Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks.  In 2004 when Longmont voters approved an RTD tax increase, We Were Promised a Train and all the benefits that Denver area residents are now enjoying with this station, the new westward light rail route, and the upcoming train line to the airport.  We helped pay for this infrastructure but few Longmonters benefit from any of it. 

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