Denver light rail leader dies at 86

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A Denver RTD commuter rail train heads for the Denver International Airport.
Chase Gunnoe
DENVER — Robert L. Tonsing Jr., a former chairman of the Denver Regional Transportation District and an instrumental leader in developing the city’s vast light rail network has died at age 86, the Denver Post reports.

Tonsing took the top position at the RTD in 1999 and immediately started advocating for the development of a metropolitan light rail system. His leadership helped establish a $177 million, 8.7-mile light rail system that opened in July 2000. The city’s first light rail trains connected Littleton, Colo., to downtown Denver.

Prior to joining the RTD, Tonsing was a photojournalist who served on the editorial staff of the Denver Post, among other newspapers, including the Pacific Stars and Stripes newspaper in Okinawa, Japan, while serving in the U.S. Army. He held other roles in public relations throughout his career, as well.

Today’s light rail system extends 77 miles from downtown Denver throughout most of the city’s suburban communities.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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