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Come Celebrate Union Depot

Editor’s note: Publication of this regularly scheduled column does not equate an endorsement for Rafael Ortega in the Nov. 8 election. 
When we refurbished and reopened Union Depot on Dec. 8, 2012, we had three goals: to create a central transit hub that helps people get to where they want to go in the Twin Cities region; to create a public gathering place that brings the community together in fun, educational and important ways and to create a unique, beautiful space for milestone private events.
Center for Transit
Since its opening, Union Depot has been the terminus of Minnesota’s busiest transit line, the Green Line, as well as AMTRAK and all major national bus lines. The Gold Line project – a planned bus rapid transit route between downtown St. Paul and Woodbury – is expected to open in 2024 and will carry between 6,350 and 7,100 commuters and other passengers each weekday by 2040. Right on its heels is the Purple Line – a bus rapid transit route planned to open in 2026 that will connect Union Depot, Maplewood and other northern suburbs. 
Finally, the Riverview modern streetcar which will connect MSP International Airport, downtown Saint Paul and the communities between, is being studied.
We are also working to add a second AMTRAK train to and from Chicago, which should double the daily AMTRAK foot traffic.
Hub for the Holidays and Every Other Season
COVID put a big dent in our public events, as it did for every restaurant and event center. Nonetheless, we have very intentionally increased our public and community events since 2013 from under 20 to over 100. And this doesn’t include four weekly yoga classes (208 per year), weekly Games Galore (board games played on life-size boards), biweekly trivia at the Station 81 restaurant and public tours. 
Both President Obama and then-Vice President Biden chose Union Depot as a location to speak to the Twin Cities.
Every year Union Depot becomes the “Hub for the Holidays,” starting with Minnesota’s only authentic outdoor European Christmas Market opening Friday Nov. 25, this year. We have now been hosting more than 100,00 guests who enjoy the chance to buy one-of-a-kind gifts and drink Gluwhein (GLU-VINE – German mulled wine) among other fun activities. Our huge annual Holiday Tree Lighting and Movie Night – the 3rd of December, will offer visitors and families to board the “North Pole Express” Holiday Train, and pick up festive treats at the annual Holiday Bake Sale.
Visit if you want to learn more.
Private Events Have Also Grown
Events like conferences, galas and weddings have also multiplied since we opened Union Depot.
We have gone from 22 private events in 2013 to 180 this year. And our work to make Union Depot a beautiful destination has paid off because it was recognized by The Knot and the Star Tribune as Minnesota’s Best Wedding venue. 
More Room to Grow
Clearly, we’ve come a long way since we opened Union Depot 10 years ago, but we aren’t done making it a center of activity and transit. Building transit lines is a slow process and the slow return of downtown workers can’t be denied, but our team at Ramsey County will not stop working.
Please come and celebrate our 10-year anniversary celebration Dec. 3 at our tree lighting and enjoy a festive celebration with commemorative giveaways and exciting entertainment.

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