Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) GM, Jeffrey D. Knueppel, has announced that he will retire at the end of the year, closing out a decorated 32-year career at the nation’s sixth-largest public transportation agency.
Knueppel has been SEPTA’s GM since 2015, and served for the three years prior to that as Deputy GM. Knueppel joined SEPTA in 1988 as an entry level structural engineer, where his projects focused on the repair of aging elevated transit structures, bridges and tunnels. He quickly moved up within the organization and after several job advancements was promoted to chief engineer at the age of 36. He was assistant GM/chief engineer of the engineering, maintenance and construction division, before moving on to SEPTA’s top leadership posts.
- Knueppel led SEPTA’s “Rebuilding the System” effort, which the Authority quickly launched after Pennsylvania lawmakers approved Act 89 of 2013, which has provided a dedicated funding source for transportation improvements throughout the Commonwealth.
- Under Knueppel’s guidance, this program has made major strides in tackling SEPTA’s state of good repair backlog, including infrastructure improvements, fleet upgrades and improvements to facilities.
- Knueppel has focused SEPTA on System Resiliency, an FTA-funded program to protect against severe weather-related impacts. He has also affirmed the Authority’s commitment to Sustainability, and SEPTA’s addition of 25 all-electric buses this year gives it the largest zero-emission bus fleet on the East Coast.
Knueppel had discussed his plans for retirement with SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. earlier this year, and recently informed his staff of his decision. He will remain at SEPTA through the end of his contract, which expires on December 31, and help with the transition to his eventual successor. The SEPTA Board is currently considering candidates, with the intention of naming a new GM this fall.