DENVER (KDVR) — The Regional Transportation District says it will make changes at Union Station as safety concerns, including drug use and crime, continue to increase.

A few months ago the union representing RTD called Union Station a “lawless hellhole.” Since then, several travelers have expressed growing concern with drug use and a rise in crime in the area.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers have done extensive reporting on the concerns at Union Station.

The Denver Police Department said more than 1,030 arrests have been made and 17 guns confiscated since November 2021 around the Union Station area.

Here are the changes coming to Union Station, according to RTD:

  • Nonworking lights will be replaced
  • Cleaning will increase
  • Prerecorded announcements will detail services, discourage unwanted activities
  • Electrical outlets throughout the bus concourse will be covered

In the next 6-12 months, these changes will take place:

  • TV monitors displaying security camera feeds will be installed at main concourses
  • Commuter rail platform stairs will be converted to exit only
  • Barriers will be installed to prevent access to areas between the elevators and glass walls at the Wewatta and Chestnut Pavilion
  • Floor decals will encourage movement and discourage loitering
  • Smoke detectors will be installed in the restrooms

Long term plans at Union Station:

  • Paid fare areas will be established, so only people who present appropriate fare will have access to the bus concourse
  • RTD will implement changes to fare collection
  • Turnstiles will be installed at the entry ways at the concourse

The Denver City Attorney’s Office said in January that the city has been working closely with RTD to restore Denver Union Station as a safe, secure, and welcoming facility.

“Since November, the Denver Police Department has increased enforcement efforts, including hundreds of hours of overtime in January alone and hundreds of arrests over the past few months. The City and RTD are also working on several other actions that can be taken to improve safety, including increasing efforts to address drug use, drug dealing, and improper behavior in and around Denver Union Station,” the city attorney’s office added.

In January, Union Station sent FOX31 a statement: “The historic Denver Union Station building – which encompasses the Great Hall, The Crawford Hotel, as well as partner dining establishments and retail spaces – is a privately leased, privately operated entity. The Denver Union Station Alliance contracts an independent security team to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for our guests, our associates, and the community within our space. We support the ongoing efforts of the Denver Police Department and RTD who manage the security of the public transit areas and outdoor plazas.”

Meanwhile, staffing shortages have forced RTD to cancel trips, including some to Union Station over the last week.