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SEPTA Board Chairman's Accomplishments Earn Him Prestigious National Award

David Gaines
SEPTA Media Relations Intern

At the heart of the Philadelphia region are dozens of men and women who do exceedingly exceptional public services, but whose names and efforts go largely unseen. So when the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) began receiving nominations for awards that would honor hard-working transit advocates, SEPTA decided it was time that the nation acknowledged one of its big supporters. APTA agreed.

At the June SEPTA Board meeting, General Manager Joseph M. Casey announced that Pasquale T. "Pat" Deon Sr., SEPTA Board Chairman since 1999, would be receiving APTA's 2014 Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member Award.

"During Pat's 15 years as chairman, SEPTA's reputation has evolved from that of a functional utility to a vibrant partner in the lives of the individuals, communities and businesses we serve," Casey said. "The customer service initiatives, operational innovations and public relations advancements that I have been able to put in place as general manager are all grounded in the culture Chairman Deon has created, and his support was essential to my successful implement of them."

Deon was first appointed to the board in 1996, and was elected chairman by his fellow board members three years later. With his guidance, SEPTA has operated with balanced budgets for 15 consecutive years, and invested more than $3.5 billion in capital improvements.

Deon's has overseen the completion of dozens of major initiatives, such as the purchase of new Silverliner V Regional Rail cars and the rebuilding of the Market Street portion of the Market-Frankford Line, and the ongoing effort to implement a new and innovative fare system as part of the New Payment Technology program.

These efforts will be enhanced moving forward thanks to Act 89, a comprehensive, statewide funding plan for transportation championed by Deon leading up to its approval last November.

"Chairman Deon has been a valued partner in my efforts to pass legislation to fund Pennsylvania's transportation infrastructure needs," said the Honorable Barry J. Schoch, Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation. "I have known Chairman Deon for more than a decade and relied on his sound counsel regarding Pennsylvania transportation issues."

Deon's nomination for the APTA award was kept secret until the June 26 board meeting, which only intensified his surprise when he discovered that he had won. He will formally receive the award at APTA's annual meeting in Houston, this October.

"APTA is proud to honor Mr. Deon's contributions to public transportation," APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Melaniphy said. "His stewardship of SEPTA has been key to delivering the kind of high-quality public transportation customers rely on every day, and his work toward securing capital funding for improvements ensures a bright future ahead."

SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. "Pat" Deon (right) with SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey (middle) and Deputy General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel.

The SEPTA Board.