May 9, 2014 by Rob Hurlbut
Market Street Station – The Denver Underground
Market Street Station in downtown Denver was my first destination on public transportation. That was back in 2002; I took the number 44 bus from Wheat Ridge where I lived into downtown where I worked. Why did I decide to take the bus to work on that particular day? Well it was because my car had gotten towed the day before and I wouldn’t have enough money to get the car out of impound until I got paid in a few days; I HAD to ride the bus and since it turned out to be pretty easy it planted the seed in my head that maybe could get along without a car. So, my car getting towed and me being forced to take the bus was ultimately the catalyst for me becoming a public transportation person and Market Street station played an integral part in the very beginning of that.
Ticket Window At Market Street Station
I did not catch a lot of buses in the underground portion of Market Street but I did buy a lot of monthly passes from the people at the sales kiosks under there and I would get warm and once and a while I would even brave the bathroom. From that first time in the spring of 2002 until I moved to San Diego in January 2006 Market Street was the beginning or end of most of my trips.
Farewell Graffiti For Market Street Station
The reason for all the graffiti is because Market Street Station is closing in just a couple of days. People are going to miss this place as you can see by the writing on the wall. All of its bus lines will be transferred to Union Station at the west end of the 16th Street Mall a few blocks away so we’ll see how people adjust to that. I am all for the changes I like what Union Station is about to become.
People Waiting For Buses
Market Street Station is kind of claustrophobic and it just has a lot of hard edges. You can see in the photo above that to sit down on you just have these big round pieces of stone for chairs. They are well polished and very round but not very comfortable. You can also see just how underground Market Street station is. The new Union Station is going to be a lot brighter and a lot taller and grander; it will be a functional work of art in the middle of downtown Denver.
A Bus At The Gate
With Market Street Station being so small it is very easy to navigate and get anywhere quickly. Hopefully navigating around Union Station will be just as easy. I know it’s going to be a lot bigger so it’ll take longer to get from place to place it should be very nice and streamlined. I’m really looking forward to going through there for the very first time.
Detex Watchclock Station
The station has physical ties to the old world and old-school ways of doing things at the bus station. I had no idea what a watchclock station was so I had to go look it up. Back in the day, station guards would carry a watchclock around with them as they made their rounds. The stations would have numbered keys in them the guards would use to punch their watchclock, proving they were making their rounds. I imagine most of the watching in patrolling in union station will be done electronically and with cutting-edge technology.
Market Street Station Glass Atrium
Market Street is not much to look at from street level. It’s just a couple of glass atriums that cover the escalators that lead to the underground part where you catch the buses. Union Station on the other hand will be quite a sight to behold. Today is May 9, 2014 and in two days Market Street is going to be closed and that’ll be that so this is my swan song for the station. The biohazards that pass for bathrooms in the station should be encased in concrete or perhaps donated to science or taken out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean and sunk. In all seriousness the brand new bathrooms in Union Station are going to be the new highlight of my public transportation commute. Cheers!