The historic Union Depot will mark the completion of its $243 million renovation on Dec. 8, when it will reopen as a transit hub -- this time with local buses -- for the first time in more than 40 years.

Metro Transit will begin service at the depot that morning, kicking off a schedule that will include more than 300 arrivals and departures weekdays.

A ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 8, followed by tours and family-friendly events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and free rides on the Route 21 bus, which goes to Minneapolis' Uptown neighborhood, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Riders later this month will be able to download a free daily bus pass on an upcoming website, Jefferson Regional Bus Lines and Amtrak's Twin Cities service will move into Union Depot next year, and the Central Corridor light-rail line will stop outside the building in 2014.

Union Depot opened in the 1920s. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.