Robert Rynerson: Veteran and transportation expert
DENVER -- He's a historian, citizen journalist, urban archivist, photographer, storyteller, transportation geek and YouTube documentarian. And that's in his spare time.
Robert W. Rynerson, 67, is also a transportation expert, an Army veteran and a recent retiree. For nearly 30 years, he was a senior service planner and scheduler for RTD, where he designed and implemented bus and light rail schedules and improved efficiency and passenger service across the region.
Robert Rynerson at Denver Union Station. Summer 2014
While serving in the U.S. Army in the late 1960s, Rynerson worked as an interpreter aboard trains to Berlin, and used German, Russian and English to broker greater understanding during the Cold War era.
His U.S. government-issued ballpoint pens became coveted souvenirs for Russians - a story he tells with a twinkle in his eye.
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.
Rynerson has retired from RTD, but his work is far from done. Two days after his official send-off he traveled to Berlin for the sixth time to revisit old haunts, immerse himself in European history again and add to his extensive story collection.
After that, he planned to come home, dig into the history of his Capitol Hill apartment building, spend more time with his son and grandsons and face the physical challenges of Parkinson's disease head on.
"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.
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