Im an engineer.
Im an education advocate.
I am FasTracks.
I am RTD.
Technical subjects – science, technology, engineering and math – are increasingly
important to study in today’s evolving world. These subjects open the doors for careers such as engineering, which presents both creative and technical challenges. As an engineer, I’m proud to be building bus rapid transit (BRT) along the US 36 corridor between Denver and Boulder. Improving our transit system and solving problems – it’s all in a day’s work for me.
— Svetlana Grechka Senior Engineer, RTD FasTracks
The STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math – are among Svetlana Grechka’s passions. In her time away from work she plays piano and guitar – and climbs mountains.
Grechka, a civil engineer, began working as an inspector at RTD 16 years ago, shortly after moving to Colorado from Siberia. In Colorado, her new home, she earned a Professional Engineer license and completed a master’s degree at the University of Colorado-Denver. Now, she’s helping to create a CU-Denver class about transit corridor design for a new generation of engineers.
At FasTracks, she manages design elements on RTD’s U.S. 36 bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor. Problem-solving is second nature to her. “I enjoy researching the best options and solutions for resolving both project and RTD issues,” she says.
Grechka is also proud of her contributions toward making public transit more available and accessible to riders under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She has presented on this topic numerous times in effort to spread awareness and focus on accessibility.
Over the years, Grechka has overcome many challenges to achieve success, but she is quick to credit others with helping her adapt to her new life in the United States.
“Someone has helped me every step of the way,” she says.
Grechka looks forward to contributing to the education of future engineers and focusing on the current expansion of public transit.
Im a rancher.
Im a bus driver.
I am FasTracks.
I am RTD.
Even cowboys ride buses. My large family has been ranching for generations and I keep my hand in the business when I’m not driving the Express bus between Boulder and Denver or SkyRide to Denver International Airport. I’ve been at the wheel for 16 years – 15 of them accident free. Cattle and horse drives can be challenging. But driving people? That’s a whole other commute!
— Cliff Alps, RTD Bus Driver
Cliff Alps grew up in a family of hard-working people: His father was a Colorado rancher and hard rock miner, and he and his nine siblings inherited their father’s work ethic. Over the years Alps has held several jobs, but for the past 16 years he’s been driving an RTD bus.
Alps drives the Express bus between Boulder and Denver and the SkyRide between Boulder and Denver International Airport and he’s seen it all – from historic snowstorms to epic traffic jams. Despite these challenges, he’s set safety records for Boulder bus drivers and has been accident free for 15 years.
“Even cowboys ride the bus,” Alps kids when he talks about his transit career.
But work isn’t everything and Alps has other interests, including family. When he isn’t getting his passengers from point A to point B safely and on time, he spends time with his wife or on a family ranch that raises cattle, horses and hogs.
Working the land like his parents did, raising livestock and being a good steward of the state’s natural resources are important to Alps, but so are his riders.
Cattle and horse drives can be challenging, but driving people? That’s a whole other commute for Alps.
Im a mom.
Im a light rail operator.
I am FasTracks.
I am RTD.
I operate light rail trains five days a week and like helping people get around the Denver region. As a child, I rode buses with my brother and sister and explored the metro area. I remember eating pizza at Woolworth’s and shopping at Cinderella City – those were good times. Now I’m helping my passengers navigate the region I love and create memories of their own.
— Sandy Fox, RTD Light Rail Operator
It’s been nearly 20 years since Sandy Fox and her little boy made early morning bus commutes to school and work, but it doesn’t seem all that long ago to Fox. She still remembers boarding an RTD bus with her son like it was yesterday. They held hands, starting and ending their days – rain, snow or shine – together.
Today, Fox, 47, operates light rail trains and is surprised by her own tenacity and how far she has come. She’s been driving RTD buses and operating light rail trains for the past 13 years. Now, when parents board her train with children, groceries, and strollers, she wants to tell them she understands how important transit is to their lives. She goes out of her way to help people in wheelchairs, parents with children, lost tourists, and others who ask for her guidance and support.
“It feels good to help somebody else,” Fox says. “I want people to know I’ve been there and I know what you’re going through.”
Fox grew up in Denver and rode RTD buses everywhere. She never dreamed she’d one day take the wheel of a bus or the controls of a modern light rail train. Her “best bus memory” is when she and her brother and sister rode a bus to downtown Denver to eat pizza at Woolworth’s or to the now-defunct Cinderella City, where they’d shop on the cobble-stoned streets of Cinder Alley.
Now she unwinds after work by roller skating, watching CSI shows, and listening to rhythm and blues, hip-hop and vintage mysteries on her smartphone. Family is important, so she spends a lot of time with her now-grown son and her mother, too. It’s a nice way to end – and begin – the day.
Im a veteran.
Im a historian.
I am FasTracks.
I am RTD.
I spent nearly 30 years designing bus and light rail routes as a senior service planner for RTD. Public transportation, history, world travel and language have been lifelong passions. When it comes to transit tales, I can tell you plenty of stories, including those from my days in the army working as an interpreter aboard trains to Berlin during the Cold War. Working to bring trains back to Union Station is yet another great story to tell, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.
— Robert Rynerson, Transit Storyteller
He’s an Army veteran, historian, citizen journalist, urban archivist, photographer, storyteller, transportation geek and YouTube documentarian. And that’s in his spare time.
Robert W. Rynerson, 67, who recently retired, was also a senior service planner and scheduler for the Regional Transportation District for nearly 30 years. At RTD, he designed and implemented bus and light rail schedules, improving efficiency and passenger service across the region.
Communication is another of his many talents. While serving in the U.S. Army in the 1960s, Rynerson served as an interpreter and intelligence analyst aboard trains in Berlin, Germany, and used German and Russian to broker greater understanding in post-World War II Europe.
A Portland native, Rynerson returned home and became a transportation industry expert, working on rail and port projects in Oregon. In Canada, he was part of the team that built the first modern light rail system in North America. Since 1985, he’s helped improve RTD’s bus service and collaborated on service planning for the West Rail Line, Denver Union Station and the Free MetroRide. ‘Seeing people’s lives changed for the better with the availability of useful transit service” has been the most rewarding aspect of his time at RTD, he says.
It’s a story he’s proud to tell.
FasTracks at a glance
122 miles of new rail service
18 miles of bus rapid transit
57 new stations
31 new Park-n-Rides
21,000 new parking spaces
Redevelopment of Union Station
FasTracks is RTDs voter-approved transit expansion program — the largest in the nation — transforming transportation through the Denver metro area. When complete, FasTracks will create better access and more transit options across all of our communities. That's more rail, improved bus service, more parking, and improved roadways and bridges for people on the go. Now thats progress.