Left to right: Rutt Bridges, Strategic Transportation Expert, Understanding Disruption, Mindy Crane, Communications Director, Denver International Airport, Dave Genova, CEO and General Manager, RTD. Photo by Judy Carlson
BY JUDY CARLSON
WEALTH MANAGEMENT CONTRIBUTOR
Driverless cars, mass transit and the nation’s fifth busiest airport were topics discussed by panelists Rutt Bridges, Dave Genova and Mindy Crane at the South Metro Denver Chamber Economic Development Group’s monthly meeting May 11 at the chamber office.
Greenwood Village resident, author, investor and entrepreneur, Rutt Bridges understands disruption, especially in the automotive industry. Today, 53 companies are testing driverless cars in Arizona and California. GM’s Cruise will be in major cities in 2019. Technology to support driverless cars has decreased almost 90 percent over the past 10 years allowing corporations more access to innovation.
Congestion, driving alone, the impact on public transit, passenger-less cars driving around, and ice and snow related issues will cause all of us to re-think mobility. The future of driverless cars is now.
Dave Genova, general manager and CEO of the Regional Transit District (RTD), oversees buses, light rail, paratransit and Call-n-Ride. Denver’s mass transit, with 100 million boardings per year, is in the top 10 cities in the country for ridership.
FasTracks, RTD’s voter-approved transit expansion program, is transforming transportation throughout the Denver metro area. Completion of the University of Colorado A line between Union Station and the Denver airport in 2016 significantly improved transit for destination travelers to and from Denver.
Speaking of air travel, Mindy Crane, Denver International Airport’s Director of Communications, presented some remarkable statistics for the international airport. Over 61 million passengers flew in 2017, there are 190 nonstop destinations, and DEN is the 20th busiest airport in the world. The airport employs 35,000 workers and provides 55,000 indirect jobs.
DEN, which is 23 years old, is embarking on a $3.5 billion capital improvement program to include the Great Hall Project, gate expansion, development opportunities, and new initiatives to make travel easier and more enjoyable for travelers.
Transportation transformation is a national matter, and Denver is one of the country’s leaders in revolutionizing the industry.
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