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DENVER (KDVR) — More than 3 million people in eight counties use RTD trains and buses, with many expected to travel downtown for holiday events in the coming days.

RTD told FOX31 riders can enjoy safe and convenient service as they utilize the public transportation option to avoid parking challenges.

The popular Union Station stop has been the focus of a cleanup effort that has improved conditions near the adjacent pavilion. Back on Dec. 1, the FOX31 Problem Solvers found episodes of open drug use, trash and disturbances near the stop. The Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents more than 2,000 RTD workers, called for change.

“We’re here to do our job. We’re not here to necessarily tell them how to fix it, but they need to figure it out,” Union President Lance Longenbohn said.

RTD tells FOX31 the combined efforts are working to provide a safer environment.

“RTD has been working very closely with a lot of law enforcement, TSA, the [TSA] VIPR team, the Guardian Angels, Denver Police Department to make sure the area around Denver Union Station is patrolled so it does provide a safe environment for people going downtown to enjoy the holiday activities,” RTD spokesperson Marta Sipeki said.

FOX31 observed a marked improvement with clean walkways, the absence of loitering and a strong security presence.

The RTD worker’s union provided FOX31 with a statement, saying:

“ATU 1001 appreciates Mayor Hancock’s immediate response to the concerns we raised. The increased police presence at Denver Union Station is having an effect, but there is much more work to do. After meeting with the Mayor on Dec. 15, we are confident that there is a commitment to getting that work done.”

One rider tells FOX31 the area is “just a lot nicer to get around.”

Riders should keep in mind that masks are required on RTD property through March 18. The Auraria West stop is closed during Broncos games (see the RTD website for timeframe).

RTD is hiring, offering a $4,000 hiring bonus for bus and rail operators, technicians and mechanic positions.  Job training is provided. Sign up for route alerts at RTD’s website.