Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties
I've often been quoted as saying - "I love to build things." That's something that comes from a 28 year career at SEPTA focused largely on transforming design, construction, and maintenance processes for infrastructure, technology systems, stations, and facilities and setting new standards for construction project implementation.
This will certainly continue in my new role as General Manager, but I am committed to expanding the definition of "building" for SEPTA to include five areas of strategic effort - Customer Experience, Employee Development, Rebuilding the System, SEPTA is a Business, and Safety as the Foundation. These fundamentals define our business vision, offer a roadmap for the initiatives that the SEPTA Team will be advancing, and describe what we want to accomplish - Building the Future - one that is strong for the region, our customers, and every SEPTA employee.
These are exciting times for us with great opportunities as well as challenges ahead. We are fortunate to have capital funding (Federal FAST Act and State Act 89) to catch up on the backlog of state of good repair projects and continue investing in our assets - stations, infrastructure, and vehicles; and a talented and strong workforce committed to operational and customer service excellence and innovative thinking to advance our business priorities.
In this message, I want to talk about the thinking behind some of the priorities identified above and share more details on projects and programs in future communications:
Customers continue to be a major focus, especially in the area of communications. The results of our 2015 Customer Satisfaction Survey are being tabulated and will be assembled into a report. In the months ahead we will be working on an action/response plan based on the feedback received. The initial roll out of SEPTA Key, featuring a reloadable contactless chip card, represents the future of fare payment and a major step forward to enhance customer convenience. Scheduled to launch Spring 2016, introducing such a technologically sophisticated system for all of our Transit routes has taken a great deal of planning and testing. Even with all of SEPTA and Xerox's preparations, we know there will be issues and difficulties that we'll need to work through together. I ask for your support and hope that you will share your comments and observations so that we can fine tune our fare payment program.
Rebuilding the System
The Crum Creek Viaduct reconstruction project (Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line) is just one example of the intensity of our efforts to rebuild SEPTA and it demonstrates our careful stewardship of the funding entrusted to us by the taxpayers. By structuring this project as a design build initiative we're able to accelerate the construction schedule and complete the work at a significant cost savings to reconstruct a 925 foot long/100 foot high structure originally built in 1895.
SEPTA is a Business/Employee Development
This speaks to the way we believe our organization should function and defines a mindset we want to reinforce with every employee because they are our greatest asset and integral to SEPTA's success. By supporting their efforts and inspiring them to look at innovative ideas and cutting edge solutions to improve operations and customer service, we can be wise stewards of our resources and effective in meeting the needs of our riders.
Safety as the Foundation
SEPTA is positioned to become one of a very few transit systems in the US to meet the current federal mandate, this Winter, to install Positive Train Control (PTC) on our Regional Rail network. PTC is the next generation of signal systems designed to enhance safety by deploying technology interventions when potentially unsafe travel conditions are detected. This is just one of the many initiatives we are working on to improve the safety of SEPTA operations.
As an organization, we are proud of the milestones reached and changes made to improve our service, and strengthen our relationships with customers, elected officials, and transit stakeholders. We continue to work to expand our customer communications platforms and find new and innovative ways to make our business grow. We look forward to working together to improve SEPTA and public transit through our Building the Future program.