Public Transportation Bus Driving Downtown Denver Colorado (copy)

An RTD bus in Denver.

The head of the Regional Transportation District publicly announced on Friday his “voluntary” retirement after nearly 26 years of service with the agency.

Dave Genova, RTD’s general manager and CEO, notified the chair of the agency’s board of directors, Doug Tisdale, on Thursday evening.

“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,” Genova said in a statement.

Genova’s career with the agency began in 1994 as a manager of safety and environmental compliance. Over the years, he worked his way up to assistant general manager of safety, security and facilities before being promoted to the head of the agency in 2015.

No official departure date has been determined yet, but Genova said he is “fully committed” to finishing out his time at the agency and will work with RTD’s board and staff to “assure a seamless and smooth transition.”

Meanwhile, RTD currently faces $40 million in budget cuts come 2020. CPR reports that the shortfall is due to nearly $15 million less in fare revenue than expected, as well as more than $25 million less in sales tax revenue.

RTD is also struggling to recruit bus and light rail operators and is experiencing a shortage in staff. About 30% of light rail operator jobs were unfilled this past week.

The agency is now weighing whether to pursue reductions in service, which would “offer riders greater reliability and on-time performance.”

In a recent RTD survey, roughly 60% of the 13,000 respondents said they preferred temporary cuts over current service levels, which are plagued with delays.

At a Thursday board meeting, CPR reports that RTD’s chief operating officer said that temporary cuts to service might not be restored on all routes after the staffing crisis passes.

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