DeMartino, a 25-year veteran of the transit industry and chief executive of RTD since 2001, helped lead the agency’s bus rapid transit (BRT) efforts, including creation of its metro express service. During her watch, the agency has added a new transit center and begun employing all-electric, zero-emission buses and diesel-electric hybrid buses, greatly reducing pollution emissions and fuel consumption.
She started her transit career as a part-time coach operator at Sacramento Regional Transit, working her way up and experiencing almost every aspect of public transportation. All this experience prepared DeMartino for her 2001 appointment as RTD’s general manager/CEO.
DeMartino envisioned BRT as the future of transit for Stockton and San Joaquin County, and in 2007, Stockton finally embraced the metro express service as the backbone of a better transportation system. Ridership on RTD’s three-route metro express system now comprises nearly 50 percent of RTD’s total system-wide ridership. Prior to metro express, RTD struggled to get 20 passengers per revenue hour on its regular fixed routes. RTD’s Metro Express
Route 40 now more than triples that, regularly exceeding 65 PPRH including weekends.
Through DeMartino’s leadership, RTD successfully received grants totaling nearly $35 million to fully fund and implement its three metro express routes with no debt obligation. Under DeMartinos’s guidance, RTD also greatly improved transit amenities and infrastructure with the addition of the downtown transit center in 2007, the mall transfer station in 2009, and most recently the hammer triangle station in 2013.
In 2004, RTD successfully integrated its first low-emission, diesel-electric hybrid buses into regular service. In 2013, Donna spearheaded the first deployment of commercial production, fast-charge zero-emission Proterra EcoRide electric buses into revenue service in northern California.
RTD also works closely with the city of Stockton and San Joaquin County and has seen a surge in student ridership though its partnerships with Stockton Unified School District and San Joaquin Delta College. Additionally, RTD holds an annual “Stuff The Bus” food drive, which has collected and distributed over 150,000 pounds of food to the community in the last 13 years.