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Leslie Richards, a woman with long, light brown hair, shown from the waist up. She is wearing a dark blue blazer with a light blue shirt. Sh is standing in the street with a SEPTA bus behind her, and is facing the viewer, and is smiling.
Photo courtesy of SEPTA.

SEPTA CEO Leslie Richards to hold office for four more years

The current General Manager and CEO of SEPTA, Leslie Richards, and the SEPTA Board have agreed on a new four-year contract.

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On May 25, 2023, SEPTA announced that its current General Manager and CEO, Leslie S. Richards, will be reappointed to the position for another four-year term, extending her tenure through January 2027.

“We are thrilled that Leslie will continue to lead SEPTA moving forward. When Leslie came to SEPTA, she brought not only her expertise in transportation, but a vision for where she wanted to lead the Authority,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr, in a statement.

Richards took the helm as SEPTA's General Manager and CEO in January 2020, entering just months before the COVID-19 pandemic began. In the midst of this challenge, she has sought to ensure SEPTA continued to provide vital transportation services throughout the city and the region at large.

Richards' work includes pushing for several SEPTA initiatives under the SEPTA Forward plan, which include modernizing trolleys, updating its SEPTA Key system, and work renovating the regional rail system.

She has also led efforts in implementing more equitable fare structures, prioritization of improvement projects to make the transit system more accessible, and internally cultivating a workplace environment that pushes for accountability and DEI, while improving efficiency.

“Her productive relationships with our funding partners in Harrisburg, as well as at the local and federal level, have served SEPTA well during what has been a very challenging time. This Board is confident that Leslie will continue to successfully advocate for the needs of SEPTA and the customers we serve,” Deon continued.

Prior to joining SEPTA, Richards worked with PennDOT as Secretary of the Department of Transportation, the first woman to hold the position.

One of her most notable achievements during her time with PennDOT was launching the Transportation Investment Plan, a strategic investment approach for the 12-Year Capital Program, designed to follow a metric guideline.

“I am grateful to the Board for its continued support, and I am excited about the opportunities that we have in front of us,” Richards said. “We continue to strive for a better SEPTA, one that our customers can count on to deliver service that is reliable, safe, and secure.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead SEPTA’s talented and dedicated workforce in the coming years. We have accomplished a lot together, and I truly believe that the best is yet to come,” she concluded.

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