DENVER (CBS4) – With the excitement that surrounded Denver Union Station’s grand opening over the weekend, people who don’t normally use public transportation may be taking a second look at the option. Here is a simple guide to getting around the newly renovated transportation hub.
Parking in and around Denver Union Station is a problem. RTD has built no new parking lots or parking structures, that means you have to park at nearby meters, at public parking garages or pay to have your car parked by a valet. If you stay at the Crawford Hotel, they will have a valet park your car, and then drive you anywhere within two miles in their new Tesla.
RTD recommends leaving your car at any of their Park-n-Ride locations and riding into Union Station. Overnight parking will be available for as low as $2 a day. The free 16th Street Mall Ride also funnels passengers to Union Station.
The Grand Train Hall
While Denver Union Station’s grand train hall is the historic centerpiece of this transportation hub, RTD has no services inside the building. For them it is a grand entryway to all of the services they have to offer which are behind and below the historic façade.
Amtrak on the other hand has a strong presence in the grand train hall, where they have relocated their ticketing, baggage and passenger waiting area.
Amtrak is already operating on two of the tracks behind Union Station. RTD will use the remaining tracks for the East Rail Line to Denver International Airport (2016), the Gold Line to Wheat Ridge (2016), the North Metro Rail Line to Northglenn (2018) and the Northwest Rail Line (2016).
Underground Bus Concourse
25 feet below the heavy rail is a bus concourse. It’s 800 feet long with 22 gates to service the hundreds of buses which connect to Union Station each day. They have a ticketing and information window where you can purchase bus and light rail tickets, and if that’s closed you can purchase tickets from nearby machines. At one end of the concourse is Union Station, at the other end is the Chestnut Station where you can connect to RTD’s Light Rail system.
RTD estimates when all of this is built out in 2030, some 200,000 people will come in and out of downtown using Union Station.
– Written by Joel Hillan for CBSDenver.com