SEPTA Board Approves Five-Year Strategic PlanWritten by David C. Lester, Engineering Editor and Editor-in-Chief, Railway Track & Structures
The SEPTA Board has approved a five-year Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2021 through 2026.
The plan, SEPTA Forward: A Vision for a Stronger Future, provides a framework for the Authority’s recovery from COVID-19 and sets a vision for future growth.
“The pandemic has highlighted the important role SEPTA has in providing access to essential jobs and services,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. “SEPTA will be at the center of our region’s recovery efforts, and this plan will play a critical role in laying the foundation for that work.”
The purpose of the Strategic Plan (downloadable below) is to assess SEPTA’s impact as an agency, identify the challenges that are disrupting the transit industry, and set the vision for where the Authority needs to be headed. The plan establishes a clear mission: “SEPTA moves southeastern Pennsylvania forward by providing safe, reliable and accessible mobility choices for everyone.”
“SEPTA was at the heart of the region’s growth over the past decade, and we stand ready to help create a more resilient, prosperous and equitable region,” said SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “COVID has hit us hard, and we face serious challenges from funding uncertainties and evolving ridership. This plan will help put us in the best possible position to provide service that connects residents to opportunities, leverages transit’s inherent sustainability, and accelerates inclusive growth.”
The Strategic Plan is organized around three goals that work together to achieve the Authority’s vision:
- Develop a proactive organization.
- Provide an intuitive experience.
- Deliver a seamless transit network.
SEPTA is launching a Comprehensive Bus Network Redesign with robust public engagement and, in the near future, similar initiatives to reimagine the Rail Transit and Regional Rail networks. These programs will enable SEPTA “to implement the strategies in this plan in a coordinated fashion that builds toward a long-term vision of a unified lifestyle transit network.”
The Strategic Plan incorporates input SEPTA has received from riders through customer surveys, at public meetings, and in day-to-day interactions, and was developed by teams comprised of staff from across the organization. Implementation of the plan will build on those efforts for increasing engagement with both customers and employees.
“In our more than 50-year history, we have never faced a more critical moment: one where pressing financial, social, and environmental issues demand leadership,” Richards said. “More than ever, we believe that the health and prosperity of the region is tied to the strength and success of SEPTA.”The Strategic Plan is launching with a new microsite that features an overview in an accessible, user-friendly format. There will be regular updates on key initiatives and performance indicators.