The first time I ever went to the County Line light rail station, I happened on a group of tourists. Being the smug daily light rail rider that I was, I offered to help them get their tickets.
Then I encountered two stations pictured above that I’d never seen before and have seen in no other station. We were all confused by them, but eventually ignored them and continued onto the correct ticketing kiosk.
A week ago, our photographer Kevin happened on the same stations and thought they were waiting to be activated.
We all deserve an explanation.
Turns out they were installed at the request of the Park Meadows mall to prevent people from parking at the mall and riding the train, according to RTD spokesperson Scott Reed.
The idea was that these stations would dispense a ticket that you can only get from inside the light rail station.
Then train riders would save their ticket and insert it into the station to open gates (not pictured) again. That way, only those who initially rode the train to that station could then come back through the gates to the station to take the train again.
This elaborate system was installed very shortly after the opening of the Southeast line in 2006, according to Reed. And it operated for three years. Ultimately, it was deprecated after very low utilization.
There are no plans to tear the system out. Reed says that it remains in place in case there is again a need for it.