RTD celebrates 50 years of moving people

Agency commemorates half-century milestone by partying like it’s 1969

DENVER (July 12, 2019) – The Regional Transportation District (RTD) celebrated its golden anniversary today, marking the occasion with a 1960s-themed party and special speaking program at the Wynkoop plaza in front of Denver Union Station.

To commemorate the agency’s creation on July 1, 1969 and to thank the riders, employees and community members who keep RTD moving, RTD invited the public to celebrate 50 years of moving people at a party that included giveaways, interactive displays and a commemorative photo booth inside a vintage Volkswagen bus. Food vendors Peaceful Creations, Church of Cupcakes, and The Bean Machine continued the theme by serving ice cream, cupcakes, coffee, and smoothies from their own vintage Volkswagen buses. In observation of the year of RTD’s birth, attendees jammed to the classic tunes of local band Groove Machine and showed off their most far-out fashions in bellbottoms, miniskirts and tie dyed shirts.

Speakers included Doug Tisdale, RTD board chair; Angie Rivera-Malpiede, RTD director, District C; Cindy Terwilliger, FTA Region VIII regional administrator; Doug Rex, Denver Regional Council of Governments executive director; Adam Paul, Metro Mayors Caucus chair; Bert Melcher, member of the first appointed RTD Board; Hugh Fowler, former Senator who was instrumental in the passage of SB 309 in 1969; and Dave Genova, RTD general manager and CEO. A proclamation from Governor Jared Polis was also read at the ceremony.

Hundreds of people attended the celebration at the historic train station, where leaders reflected on RTD’s history of transit innovation and expressed its vision for another 50 years of leadership in public transportation.

“It’s been out of sight to see RTD grow by leaps and bounds in the years that I’ve been there,” RTD General Manager and CEO Dave Genova said. “Now RTD is a modern-day regional mobility integrator.”

“I started taking the bus from my home in Westminster back in 1975 when I was clerking on the federal court, just a few short years after RTD was created,” Tisdale said. “Today RTD provides so many options for getting around the region, and for that, I thank RTD’s first leaders for their vision and ambition.”

RTD kicked off its 50th anniversary festivities in March and has been marking key milestones in the life of the public transit agency throughout the year with stories of people moving people. RTD has also redesigned the homepage of its website to showcase the commemorative logo and photos from the last 50 years. The agency developed an interactive timeline that highlights how RTD has been an innovator in transit over the last 50 years and where the agency is headed to redefine mobility for the next 50 years. The timeline will continue to evolve over the course of the year as the agency adds more photos from the past, photos from events yet to occur, and more functionality.


The Regional Transportation District celebrates 50 years of service this year. The transit agency develops, operates and maintains a public transportation system that meets the need of close to 3 million people within an eight-county service area in the Denver Metro region. The agency’s buses, rail lines, shuttles and additional services provide 100 million annual passenger trips. For more information, visit rtd-denver.com, call 303-299-6000 and follow along on social media: www.facebook.com/RideRTD, on Twitter @Ridertd, @ridertd on Instagram and rideRTDco on YouTube. ###