DENVER (CBS4) – The fully redesigned Union Station transportation center in LoDo doesn’t open to the public for several weeks, but officials gave members of the media a tour of the facility on Friday.
Regional Transportation District’s FasTracks plans center around a new Union Station, and the facility is just about ready for buses, trains and light rail.
Amtrak trains are actually already using the new Union Station, and the biggest change in the near future will be for bus riders.
Starting on May 11, all of the buses that currently arrive and depart at the RTD’s Market Street Station downtown will now come in and out of the underground Union Station bus concourse.
The concourse has 22 gates and will serve 16 bus routes. It spans 1,000 feet and runs beneath 17th Street between Chestnut and Wewatta streets. A grand opening celebration is planned for May 9.
Construction on the bus concourse is more than 90 percent complete, according to project manager Jerry Nery.
“This is probably the largest transportation project of comparable transit agencies, when you compare to Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake, Phoenix,” he said.
“What makes this work the best — and I’ve been to almost every one of their (main) stations — is they didn’t have the opportunity to have all of the transits come to one location and have development opportunities at the same location.
RTD also showed off one of the buses that will be running starting next month in its new Free Metro Ride bus line.
That bus line will operate during peak hours from Union Station to Civic Center Station up and down 18th and 19th Streets.
The new Union Station also includes a hotel inside the historic original building that was preserved as part of the project. The Crawford Hotel will open on July 12.