The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is one of the largest transit systems in the United States, serving five counties in the Greater Philadelphia area and connecting to transit systems in Delaware and New Jersey. Its services include regional rail, buses, trolleys, subway and a high-speed line to western suburbs.
SEPTA, created by the Pennsylvania legislature in 1963, began operations in 1964. Many of its services and facilities date back further — as far as the early 20th century — and became part of SEPTA through other transportation companies and organizations absorbed during the authority’s first decades.
A general manager oversees day-to-day operations. SEPTA is governed by a 15-member board whose members are appointed by city, county and state officials.
About Leslie S. Richards, CEO and General Manager
Leslie S. Richards is the CEO and 11th General Manager of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the sixth largest public transportation agency in the U.S. with a budget of more than $2 billion and a vast network of 9,500 employees that enable the five million residents of the Greater Philadelphia region to connect to each other. SEPTA operates across six transportation modes and has 2,800 vehicles in service, 285 subway and rail stations, 13,000 bus and trolley stops, and 150 routes.
Prior to joining SEPTA, Richards was the first woman secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), one of the largest and most innovative transportation agencies in the U.S. Richards left a lasting mark on the department by creating strategic solutions for the long-term success of Pennsylvania’s transportation needs through innovative, collaborative programs such as PennDOT Connects.
A staunch advocate for women and diversity in transportation and government, Richards has been recognized for her leadership in the industry and commitment to public service. Prior to her public service, she worked in the private sector as a senior project manager for environmental and civil engineering firms. Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She received a master’s of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband in Philadelphia.
SEPTA continues to work toward improvements to services and facilities, investments in sustainability and accessibility, and service extensions to new destinations.
Current projects and plans include:
- Bus Revolution, a comprehensive bus network redesign
- 30th Street Station Design Project
- Susquehanna-Dauphin Station Improvements (PDF) and Accessibility Improvements (Word)
Visit SEPTA’s planning site for reports and information on projects and goals.