SEPTA Appoints New Chief Technology Officer

SEPTA Appoints New Chief Technology Officer

Elisa Cunningham Committed to Enhancing the Customer Experience With Innovative Technology

PHILADELPHIA (March 7, 2024) – SEPTA today announced that Elisa Cunningham has been appointed as the Authority’s Chief Technology Officer. Cunningham will report to SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards.

The Chief Technology Officer is a newly-created role and demonstrates SEPTA’s commitment to enhancing the customer and employee experience with substantial investments in technology and digital improvements, including the new website, mobile app, and real-time information. These initiatives are an integral part of SEPTA Forward, the Authority’s strategic plan.

Cunningham will lead SEPTA’s Information Technology Department of approximately 80 employees, and develop and implement a long-term technology strategy that ensures system resiliency and security.

“Elisa’s experience makes her the ideal candidate to take on this new role,” said SEPTA Board Chair Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr. “Under her leadership, we will address technology as 21st century infrastructure.”

Cunningham comes to SEPTA from Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), where she served as Chief Technology Officer. At Metrolink, Cunningham led technological transformation across southern California by acquiring a multi-agency regional rail mobile ticketing application supporting the 2028 Olympic Games. She also developed strategies for corporate technology, positive train control, and fare collection components.

Cunningham brings more than 20 years of experience in the IT field. Prior to joining Metrolink, she was the Assistant Vice President of Technology and Information Management at Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), where she oversaw DART’s data management, enterprise resource planning systems, web and mobile development.

“From trip planning to fare collection – safety and security to sustainability – technology plays a critical part in making our system more seamless, reliable, and accessible,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “I am confident Elisa will prioritize technology upgrades that will increase ridership.”

“I am looking forward to joining the team at SEPTA and ensuring the Authority is ready to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead,” said Cunningham. “I am excited to work on initiatives that will further modernize the system and enhance the customer and employee experience.”

Cunningham also served as Senior Information Technology Manager for L-3 Communications, Senior Information Technology Manager for the City of Dallas, and Information Technology Manager for the County of Dallas.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Louisiana State University and a Master of Business Administration in Information Systems from University of Redlands.

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