The redevelopment of the historic Denver Union Station has been a long time coming.
Ideas have been flowing for decades, but the official planning process began in
2002 after the Regional Transportation District (RTD) initiated the purchase of Union
Station in 2001 with its owner partners—the Colorado Department of Transportation,
the City and County of Denver and the Denver Regional Council of Governments.
THE REVITALIZATION OF
Union Station is located at the western end of the 16th Street Mall
in between lower downtown (LoDo) and the 54-acre Commons Park
Neighborhood in the Central Platte Valley. It will serve as the “Grand
Central Station” of Denver and a multi-modal transportation hub for
the city and its outlying regions. The following information will help
you get an idea of the enormity of this exciting project.
HISTORY OF UNION STATION
The first trains rolled through Denver in June of 1870. However,
Union Station first opened in June 1881. After a fire and many
changes, reconstruction and improvements throughout the years,
Union Station thrived in the 1920s and 1930s. At that time, the
station accommodated 80 trains per day. Among famous visitors
such as Queen Marie of Romania, many U.S. presidents also came
through Union Station. They included: Theodore Roosevelt, William
Howard Taft, Harry S. Truman and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as
well as first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Over the decades though, Union
Station became underutilized.
The Denver Union Station Project Authority, created in 2009 by the
Denver City Council, oversees the redevelopment project. Transit
construction began in 2010, and renovation of the historic building
began in 2012.
The Millennium Bridge connects Commons Park to LoDo and the
16th Street Mall, with Union Station situated in the heart of the area.
Denver Union Station will also have a public 12,000 square foot
“great hall,” or common area, as well as a 112-room hotel, restaurants, retail shops and RTD and Amtrak transit systems.
As the center hub, Denver Union Station comprises an underground
bus station, light rail, shuttles, commuter rail and Amtrak. It will also
invite limousines, vans, taxis and bicycles. Denver Union Station is
part of RTD’s Fas Tracks transit expansion program, which includes
122 miles of new light rail and commuter rail, 18 miles of bus rapid
transit (BRT) and 21,000 additional parking spaces.
Bus Concourse: Replacing Market Street Station, this underground
facility (nearly 1,000 feet long), has 22 bays— 12 for regional and
express busses, eight for downtown circulator busses and two for
other commercial busses.
Light Rail: Relocated to the west end of the site in August 2011, it
supports three lines.
Shuttles: The free 16th Street Mall shuttle was extended to the relocated Denver Union Station Light Rail Station in August 2011. Along
with the free 16th Street MallRide busses, RTD has opened another
free service through downtown: the MetroRide. This second shuttle