state rep. dwight evans

State Rep. Dwight Evans makes remarks at a meeting with Transport Workers Union Local 234.

— Photo courtesy the Flickr stream of Transport Workers Union local 234.

Gov. Tom Wolf has named state Rep. Dwight Evans to SEPTA’s 12–person board of directors.

“I thank the governor for the appointment to SEPTA and I will strive to make it a 21st century transit system worthy of the citizens of southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Evans, D–Philadelphia. “As a longtime advocate for public transportation, I look forward to ensuring and bolstering SEPTA’s role as an economic linchpin for the region while providing safe and efficient transit services.”

Evans will now become part of a board that oversees a vast public transportation network that serves nearly 4 million riders a year, has 290 active stations, 450 miles of track and up to 200 active routes.

SEPTA is considered the sixth largest public transportation network in the country by ridership, and fifth largest in terms of annual unlinked trips.

Evans, a veteran legislator now entering his 34th year in office, formerly served as the Democratic chair of the appropriations committee, has based much of his career on improving the economy and buttressing the region’s transportation sector.

In 1991, Evans helped establish the Public Transportation Assistance Fund, the first dedicated funding source for mass transit. Later, he helped establish the Transportation Funding and Reform Commission, an initiative adopted by former Gov. Ed Rendell that provided strategies to stabilize transit funding.

His other accomplishments include support of Act 89 of 2013 — the transportation and vehicle code amendment omnibus package — which funded road and rail infrastructure improvements, along with providing supports for minority–owned businesses.

At the time of that bill’s passage, Evans said as many as 50,000 jobs could be created to tackle the growing list of dangerous roads and bridges plaguing the state and stifling economic development, and “mass transit, including SEPTA,” would benefit.

“I think my experience working in a bipartisan fashion on behalf of transportation improvements meshes well with Gov. Wolf’s advice to listen and learn from each other,” Evans said.

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