DENVER (CBS4) – The Regional Transportation District’s General Manager and CEO Dave Genova is retiring after nearly 26 years at the agency. Genova notified the chair of the RTD Board of Directors of his decision Thursday evening, according to a news release.
“It has been a privilege to serve the Board, our incredible team of employees and our community. I am confident that our very capable leadership team will continue to guide the agency in our mission to serve the traveling public,” said Genova. “It has been an honor to have shared in many industry-leading projects and I am proud of the successes we achieved during my nearly five-year term as General Manager and CEO.”
Genova’s last day with RTD has not been announced and his replacement has not been named. Genova began his career at RTD in 1994 as a manager of safety and environmental compliance. He was named general manager and CEO in Dec. 2015.
Genova’s voluntary retirement comes as RTD deals with an ongoing operator shortage. Bus and train operators are required to work six-day workweeks every week, which is having a significant impact on their mental and physical health, as well as the reliability of trip schedules.
“This is not a situation we want to be in,” said RTD’s Assistant General Manager Pauletta Tonilas Thursday evening. “This is very difficult and we’re sorry for what we’re doing and impacting people’s lives every day. But this is where we are and we have a responsibility to face this situation and deal with it.”
On Thursday night, RTD officials announced the results of a two-week survey asking passengers if they are in favor of a temporary service reduction. Out of 13,000 respondents, 59% favored the temporary service reduction. RTD said about 63% of its stakeholders also agreed with the service reduction idea.
“I think it shows, on a temporary basis, they’re willing to deal with a bit of reduction to have the reliability,” said Genova.
Genova said the rapid expansion of commuter and light rail lines in the last few years coupled with low unemployment rates has played a significant role in the shortage, which started back in 2015.
“We have challenges like a lot of organizations,” Genova said. “I’m confident we will work through our challenges.”
The RTD Board of Directors will reconvene on Dec. 12 to discuss possible cuts to bus and light rail routes. Officials said commuter rail lines A, B and G will not be affected.