Bus drivers union calls Denver Union Station a "hellhole."

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Lonnie

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A few days ago we took a break in the Denver station while headed for Chicago in the CZ. While there were some characters in the area between the platforms and the station whom we chose to avoid, we found the hustle and bustle inside to be a welcome change from the desolation and abandonment one finds in so many current or formerly glorious stations like the tragedy of Buffalo's Central Terminal. However, we noticed that about a third of the post-Thanksgiving crowd in there were not wearing masks at all, so we made a quick exit.
 
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In November I took a bus to DUS. It let me out at the very end of the bus area, so I had to walk the whole length of it. It is long! I am recovering from an illness that has created a lot of fatigue for me, so the unexpected walk was quite unwelcome, and yes, it wasn't a really comfortable place.

Worse, though, was that when I wanted to leave the bus area and go up a level to the platforms, the elevator was broken, so I had to go up some long stairs. Then it wasn't clear how to get to the Amtrak track; I worried a while before I figured out that the tracks ended here so I could walk around them.

I guess I never made it into the station itself.

So overall I was uncomfortable, but I never felt really unsafe.
 

basketmaker

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Not to quibble, but the trains I saw in Denver looked more like heavy commuter rail, especially since the Hyundai Rotem cars are nearly identical to the Silverliner Vs used by SEPTA in Philadelphia for its commuter rail system.
The "letter" trains like the "A-train" 25 miles to the airport are heavy rail and electrified. There is a fairly extensive light rail system also.
 

basketmaker

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So the armed security guard doesn’t feel safe?

So what happened to the transit police?

Or was the I imagining that the guys checking tickets and hanging out at the Denver Union Station were transit police to begin with?

Drug user are using there products in public space more often, so when they OD they can be spotted and helped.

Seems to be a national problem, not just in Denver.
As for the armed guard not feeling safe... Life in prison for man who shot and killed RTD security guard
 
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Too many lower payed security guards, and not enough transit police. Oh wait the transit police have limited powers.

Sorry if the armed security guards can not legally do anything, the transit police are legally prevented from doing anything. So why not contact out to Denver Police Department for a officer. One person on duty 24/7 required 5 people to fill that slot. You team the Denver police officer with a transit police officer and plant them at station. Problem immediately gets better. Simple solution.
 

jis

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Too many lower payed security guards, and not enough transit police. Oh wait the transit police have limited powers.

Sorry if the armed security guards can not legally do anything, the transit police are legally prevented from doing anything. So why not contact out to Denver Police Department for a officer. One person on duty 24/7 required 5 people to fill that slot. You team the Denver police officer with a transit police officer and plant them at station. Problem immediately gets better. Simple solution.
My suspicion is that there is big elephant of some internecine politics between/among who not clear to me, is preventing a rational approach to solving this problem. Seems like what has been done so far is rearranging deck chairs instead of steering the ship.
 
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My suspicion is that there is big elephant of some internecine politics between/among who not clear to me, is preventing a rational approach to solving this problem. Seems like what has been done so far is rearranging deck chairs instead of steering the ship.
Or just a small elephant like the Denver Police Union feeling threaten by Transit Police. That why my solution was a single Denver Police officer 24/7. I would think renting a PD officer is very expensive in the Denver Metro. By matching them with a transit officer maybe the Police Union will get enough feedback to change the restrictions on the transit police.
 

Bob Dylan

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My suspicion is that there is big elephant of some internecine politics between/among who not clear to me, is preventing a rational approach to solving this problem. Seems like what has been done so far is rearranging deck chairs instead of steering the ship.
This is happening in lots of Cities, it seems to have started with San Francisco and spread all over as local politicians in "Woke Cities" took over Micro Managing Law Enforcement.

Has there ever been a more poorly named Political idea than " Defund the Police??"

Disclaimer: Better Slogan: "Reform the Police!", it's badly needed in most Cities!
 

jis

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BTW, trying to steer this back to the Amtrak side of things, a few people asked me whether one has to go through the bus station to get to the LRT station. The answer is no. If you wish to get from an Amtrak train or RTD Line A Airport, you can walk on the surface to the LRT station and need not go into the "hell hole" alluded to here. Although things do leak out fro the subsurface bus facility to the surface and there have been a few spillover problems on the surface too.

BTW if you wish to avoid that entire area you can take the downtown circulator bus from one block away from the Amtrak side all the way to the LRT station too.
 
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sttom

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This is happening in lots of Cities, it seems to have started with San Francisco and spread all over as local politicians in "Woke Cities" took over Micro Managing Law Enforcement.

Has there ever been a more poorly named Political idea than " Defund the Police??"

Disclaimer: Better Slogan: "Reform the Police!", it's badly needed in most Cities!
The defund the police slogan comes from the notion that you need to demand something extreme to get something more workable. The actual goal is to reform the police, effectively speaking but they think you need to demand the abolition of policing to get real reforms. There are police abolitionists in the world, but most at least state they want reforms but use an inflammatory rhetoric to get noticed. The issue being that if you get too crazy, you get ignored anyways. Its kind of the same deal with some people advocating for public transit think of any rail improvement short of a 225 mph high speed line is a waste of money.

The issue I have is why we even need transit police in the first place. They just seem to be a weird inefficiency in government that we have just accepted as being ok. For example, why can't the county sheriff's office or the state police handle issues on trains? Other than RTD being a district and districts being equal to a city in the government hierarchy and if one has cops, then so does the other. The issue I see is that Union Station as an RTD facility isn't expected to have its own water and sewer system, so why should RTD have its own cops? Especially when they tend to be ineffective compared to the police department that patrols just outside the doors.
 

MikefromCrete

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Transit agencies having their own police force allow those officers to focus on problems involving transit. Local police department have other demands and might put any kind of transit enforcement on the back burner.

Having such police forces is quite a crazy quilt. Metra, for instance, has its own police force to protect passengers and property across a six-county area, while the CTA and Pace rely on local police.

Got to agree with Bob that "Defund the Police" is the worst political slogan of all time.
 
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Not sure how private railroads have gotten there own police forces. It’s a bit easier to understand how a government organization has there own police forces. Still you be amazed how how many government organizations have there own police.
I believe the NYC Transit Police were, at one time, the second largest police force in NY state, the NYPD being the largest.

They no longer exist as an independent police force, having been merged into the NYPD in '95. I had a first cousin who was a Transit Cop.
 

Willbridge

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Notes in understanding why the transit police in Denver are limited in their power -- RTD is classed by the courts as a state "entity" -- not a municipality or a county. It can only do what the state legislation creating it permits. The opposite is true of Denver -- it is what is constitutionally defined as a "home rule" city, which gives it quite a bit of leeway in how it does things.

Obviously, this situation needs to be corrected, but that includes labor issues. And Denver is not immune from the labor shortage. The police force is under its authorized strength.

And, although railway police and transit police exist for the same reasons, through years of lobbying the private railway police have more authority than the transit police.

Personal note: I enjoy the surface walk in good weather and go through the underground bus facility in bad weather. Either way, I've not been bothered by anyone, but I'm no longer down there late at night.
 

neroden

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The defund the police slogan comes from the notion that you need to demand something extreme to get something more workable. The actual goal is to reform the police, effectively speaking but they think you need to demand the abolition of policing to get real reforms. There are police abolitionists in the world, but most at least state they want reforms but use an inflammatory rhetoric to get noticed. The issue being that if you get too crazy, you get ignored anyways. Its kind of the same deal with some people advocating for public transit think of any rail improvement short of a 225 mph high speed line is a waste of money.

The issue I have is why we even need transit police in the first place. They just seem to be a weird inefficiency in government that we have just accepted as being ok. For example, why can't the county sheriff's office or the state police handle issues on trains? Other than RTD being a district and districts being equal to a city in the government hierarchy and if one has cops, then so does the other. The issue I see is that Union Station as an RTD facility isn't expected to have its own water and sewer system, so why should RTD have its own cops? Especially when they tend to be ineffective compared to the police department that patrols just outside the doors.
Oh, it started with railroads and transit systems which cross municipal and even state borders. NJT police can handle incidents on NJT whether the train is in NJ, NY, or PA. State and local police would be out of jurisdiction.

Imagine a criminal committing assault on a train in one county, the county police respond, but now the train is in another county and they have no jurisdiction.... This happened. So railways can have their own police. Goal is to keep the trains moving, which is why I am disgusted when a train is delayed for police activity for long periods .... Railroad police exist so the police investigation can continue without stopping the trains...

Less relevant in stations. Relevant on the actual trains.
 
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