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Rail News: Passenger Rail

SEPTA GM Leary resigns


Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority General Manager John Leary Oct. 23 announced his intent to step down when his contract expires Jan. 31, 2002.

"Jack has been an exceptional leader during a period of tremendous change at SEPTA," said Board Chairman Pasquale Deon in a prepared statement. "The greatest testament to Jack’s success is that he’s overseen billions of dollars in investment in the improvement of the system, expanded and improved service, and balanced the operating budgets. This is an accomplishment without precedent at SEPTA."

Deon plans to form a General Manager Selection Committee comprising three to five board members, who first will review internal candidates, then extend the search nationally, if needed.

Leary began his 30-year transit career as a train operator with Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and rose through the ranks to deputy general manager for all MBTA operations. He also served as executive director/chief executive officer at St. Louis’ Bi-State Development Agency where he was instrumental in developing the $450 million MetroLink system.

In 1997, he became general manager of SEPTA, where some of his accomplishments include creating and implementing a Five-Year Plan for Strategic Change, aimed at changing the public’s perception of transit.

Under Leary’s guidance, SEPTA also embarked on the largest and most ambitious capital program in the authority’s history, which includes building the 62-mile Schuylkill Valley Metro between Philadelphia and Reading, Pa., and the 52-mile Cross-County Metro through Montgomery, Chester and Bucks Counties, connecting Glenloch to Morrisville through King of Prussia and Norristown.

"My years at SEPTA have been the most personally and professionally satisfying in a long and challenging career in public transportation," said Leary. "I’m very proud of our accomplishments during the past few years."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/24/2001