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Meet David A. Genova!

David A. Genova

General Manager and CEO
Regional Transportation District (Denver)
Vice Chair, APTA Rail Transit Committee and APTA Rail Transit CEOs Subcommittee; member, APTA Board of Directors Executive Committee

Please describe your agency’s size and scope.
One of the great things about RTD is that we are the public transit provider for all modes in the Denver metro region. The multimodal agency—with roughly 2,860 employees—consists of light rail, commuter rail, fixed-route bus and paratransit services, operating eight light rail lines, two commuter rail lines and nearly 90 bus routes.

Since all RTD services are integrated, the agency is able to offer ­riders both an integrated schedule and integrated fare system. RTD has a very large service area—one of the largest in the country (roughly 2,400 square miles). This certainly challenges our fixed-route bus network and the ability to serve all of our constituents within our service area.

What attracted you to the public transportation industry?

I’ve been in the public transit industry for 24 years, although I never ­originally intended to be in the industry. My bachelor’s degree is in ­geology and I have an MBA, but right after college I worked in the oil and gas industry for a few years and then in the environmental industry for about six years.

After that, I applied for a job at RTD as safety and environmental manager, and here I am 24 years later! It’s been a fascinating and great career for me and, in addition to serving the community, it’s great to work with my peers across the country.

I’m also a former appointee of the FTA Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety and serve on the board of directors for Visit Denver, the city’s tourism agency.

Please describe the length and scope of your involvement with APTA.

I first got involved with APTA 24 years ago through the APTA Rail Safety Committee and attending APTA conferences. Shortly after that I started participating in APTA peer reviews, which are incredibly beneficial for both the agencies that are receiving them, and the ­people who are working on them as far as learning from other agencies, visiting other agencies and developing professionally. I’ve also been fortunate to work on several APTA committees.

What have you found to be the most valuable APTA benefit or resource?

APTA has been extremely helpful in organizational development. RTD benefits from having access to resources including the APTA standards program, peer reviews and the myriad documents and reports that APTA publishes—all of which we use across the industry.

Participating in APTA conferences provides great professional development options for our team across the board. Also, being able to have RTD employees compete in the bus and rail rodeos is really a great experience and opportunity for them. Not least, the advocacy APTA conducts on behalf of the public transit industry is incredibly valuable, both for RTD and the entire industry.

What do you like most about your industry involvement and APTA board/committee service?

What I like most about being part of the public transportation industry is ­seeing the impact of RTD’s work in the community and our role in making the Denver metro region an even better place to live. What I like most about my APTA board and committee service is working with such an accomplished and diverse group of colleagues to shape the future of mobility and the country overall.

What would readers be surprised to learn about your agency?
One of the first things that comes to mind is the size of our agency. Denver metro residents often don’t think of this as a transit city, but with more than 100 million boardings per year, we truly are.

When people visit Denver, they will be surprised to see what we’ve done in the last handful of years as far as buildout of our transit system and what we’ve been able to accomplish with our Eagle P3 project—including commuter rail service from Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport—and what we’ve been able to do with Union ­Station and its redevelopment.

The most positive message is how public transit has been and will continue to be an economic driver for the Denver metro region in the areas of development and job creation.
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