BY BOB SWEENEY
Doug Tisdale, RTD board chairman, welcomed a large group of civic and municipal leaders to Union Station March 8 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Regional Transportation District.
RTD was officially formed on July 1, 1969, the same year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
Tisdale thanked the RTD employees, staff, mayors, councilors and citizens of the 40 municipalities in eight counties of the Denver metro area that RTD serves. He added, “We appreciate our continuing collaboration with agencies such as the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Agency in Washington, D.C. to name just a few of our allies.”
“Congratulations to RTD for 50 years of remarkable service and growth…did you know that RTD is one of only three transit agencies in the country that has an elected board? In 1980 the voters demanded that we become a directly elected board.”
“You the people,” he said, “make sure that we meet the needs of the more than 3.1 million people we serve in this 2,400 square mile district.”
“RTD is the largest political jurisdiction in the state of Colorado, other than the state itself,” Tisdale said.
He then introduced the RTD general manager and CEO, Dave Genova, who spoke about his 25 years with RTD in Denver. He commented that there are 4,700 employees and contract employees, 120 bus routes, eight light rail lines, two commuter rail lines, and two transit hubs in downtown and is woven into the fabric of the community.
Adding, “RTD originated when the leaders of the region had the foresight to merge Denver Tramway, Denver Metro Transit, Evergreen Transit, the Longmont Mini, Englewood-Littleton-Fort Logan, Northglenn-Suburban and Boulder City and Public Service transit agencies to create one encompassing regional transportation district. This made RTD the second largest transit service area in the country that still exists today.”
Genova announced that May 19 will be the opening of the E-F-R light rail extension in Lone Tree.
Following the speeches and introduction of honored employees, guests enjoyed a large anniversary cake saluting the 50th Anniversary ceremony.