Cal Marsella, GM/CEO of the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), will be leaving the agency on July 31 after 14 years to accept a high-level position with a private sector firm. The RTD Board of Directors is expected to establish a comprehensive search process in the next several weeks.
“This was a tough decision, but I welcome the challenge of moving to another opportunity that I simply could not pass up,” Marsella said. “We have made extraordinary accomplishments, which is why last year we were once again named the most outstanding transit agency. The RTD staff is the best in the nation, so RTD is well-positioned to continue with the incredible achievements we have made as a team with the RTD Board that will serve the entire metro area for this and future generations.”
Under Marsella’s leadership, RTD has made numerous major accomplishments, including securing RTD’s first federal Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for a light rail line with the $120 million FFGA for the Southwest Light Rail line that was signed by then-US Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena in 1996; and opening the Southwest Light Rail Line in 2000 on time and within budget; securing the $525 million federal FFGA for the Southeast Light Rail Line for the T-REX Project.
Other accomplishments include purchasing Denver Union Station in 2001 in partnership with the City and County of Denver, the Denver Regional Council of Governments and the Colorado Department of Transportation; and developing over a seven year period the FasTracks comprehensive transit system for the metro region, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2004, that will build 122 miles of new light rail and commuter rail, build 21,000 additional parking spaces at transit park-n-Rides, add 18 miles of bus rapid transit service and build 57 new transit stations.
In addition to his agency accomplishments, Marsella was also selected by APTA as the Outstanding Public Transportation Manager in 2006, by the University of Colorado Real Estate Council as their 2006 Person of the Year, and by Colorado Association of State Transportation Agencies as the Transportation Professional of the Year in 2000.