SEPTA names Whitemarsh’s Leslie Richards as next General Manager

Yesterday, the SEPTA Board voted unanimously to appoint PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards as the Authority’s new General Manager. Richards will join SEPTA in January, following the retirement of General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel.

Richards is a Lafayette Hill resident and previously served as a Whitemarsh Supervisor and Montgomery County Commissioner. She is the current head of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

“We are thrilled to welcome Leslie back to SEPTA as the next General Manager,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. “She has a proven track record of success as a transportation executive, and brings a vision for the future that will help us build on our successes and prepare for the challenges ahead.”

The announcement describes Richard’s record as follows:

As PennDOT Secretary, Ms. Richards instituted new policies based on sustainable infrastructure investments and innovation. She launched the Transportation Investment Plan, a metric-driven strategic investment approach for the 12-Year Capital Program. She also started a new initiative called PennDOT Connects for the planning and delivery of capital and maintenance projects. This new policy enhances PennDOT’s collaboration with local governments, and ensures the department’s investments consider the mobility needs of communities in project design.

Ms. 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.

“SEPTA is critical to the vitality of the Philadelphia region, and to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a whole,” Richards said. “I am honored to be selected as the next General Manager, and look forward to working with SEPTA employees, riders, residents and other stakeholders to ensure we meet the region’s transportation needs now and for years to come.”