2017 A Year in Review

Last year was a tough year for all of us at PenTrans. With the loss of Peter Javsicas and Peter Denitz in the same year, we are reminded how precious life is and how fortunate we are to have our family, friends and colleagues around us. Fortunately, we have a strong Board of Directors to keep PenTrans active and engaged in advancing the state transportation in the Commonwealth.

2017 also saw the retirement of Tom Halterman, our dependable Secretary and Treasurer. We are happy to have Jeff Roken in his place as Treasurer and Rich Bickel as Secretary. We also saw Cayde Tanzel, our reliable assistant change jobs. We are happy to have Katie Carver helping us through the transition.

Despite these challenges, PenTrans had some bright spots in 2017. We had a very successful and well attended Year End Awards event and Holiday Party. Over 80 supporters come out to honor Jeff Knuepple and SEPTA in December as the recipient of the Peter Javsicas Multi-modal Transportation Advocate Award. SEPTA, along with the City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services and Project HOME, is creating the Hub of Hope, a repurposed section of Suburban Station. The Hub will provide daytime access to facilities for people experiencing homelessness to shower, get a meal, wash clothes, and receive information about social and mental health services, and housing.

It was also a warm (figuratively and literally) gathering of many Board members, PenTrans sustaining members and supportive friends. It was a fitting tribute to Peter Javsicas; and he was remembered fondly in comments by Jeff and Mayor Jim Kenney. Thanks to Jennie Granger and Tom Spearing for getting Jeff and the Mayor on really short notice. This event also marked the start of the Peter Javsicas Memorial Scholarship, which will provide financial assistance to a qualified and deserving student studying transportation at a Philadelphia University.   Thank you to Katie, Ron, Sita and all those who made this event such a success at the Philadelphia Racquet Club.

We also had several other well-attended events including The Legislative Breakfast in Harrisburg in the spring, and the Panel discussion, “Can Theory Meet Practice” here in Philadelphia, in November. Thanks to all who made those events successful. During 2017 we also saw the completion of many SEPTA infrastructure improvements, many multi-modal projects throughout the region and the circulation of the KOP Rail DEIS. Thanks to Rich Bickel for presenting the PenTrans testimony at the Public Hearings in KOP.