After 45 years in the industry, Greater Dayton RTA CEO Mark Donaghy will retire, effective April 1.
Donaghy began his transit career in 1976 as a driver for the Omaha Public School system in Nebraska. At the time, the system was in turmoil as a federal court mandated busing of Black students to predominantly white schools in Omaha to desegregate schools. Donaghy was one of the first to drive a school bus for the new system as part of the desegregation process.
Before joining Dayton RTA in 2006, Donaghy held various leadership positions at other transit agencies, including Columbia Transit, Manchester Transit Authority, Missoula Urban Transportation District, and the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky.
During his Dayton RTA tenure, Donaghy successfully fought for equal access for bus service in Beavercreek, a battle which was the basis for the award-winning “Free to Ride” documentary produced by The Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. He also helped shepherd innovative partnership programs such as Dayton’s downtown circulator bus The Flyer, the LINK bike share program, and RTA Connect On-Demand where traditional service is limited.
Donaghy joins METRO’s Alex Roman to discuss his 45 years in the industry, the important role public transit plays in providing equity in communities across the nation, and his unique tie to desegregation in Omaha, Nebraska. He also discusses his greatest achievements in the industry, how transit has changed in his 45 years, and his post-retirement plans.