Ken Divers

Speaker
Director of Outreach Programs

Kenneth “Ken” Divers has over 28 years of distinguished public service to the greater Delaware valley region.  He currently serves as Assistant Director of Surface Transportation and Vulnerable Population Lead at Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the nation’s sixth largest transportation agency that moves the region forward by providing safe, reliable, and accessible mobility choices for everyone. In this role, Ken directs the activities of 80 Surface Transportation Managers and nine bus/trolley depots in monitoring actual service conditions on the system’s bus, trolley, trackless trolley, and surface transportation rail network.  He also leads the Agency’s response to addressing the complex issue of homelessness on the system, and leads the Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnership and Engagement (S.C.O.P.E.) Program.  In March 2021, Ken developed the SCOPE Program to bring a holistic, compassionate approach to providing a safe and welcoming travel experience for returning customers; ensuring a secure environment for employees; and actively connecting vulnerable persons to vital services and care.  This unified response allows SEPTA to maximize personnel; establish a culture of employee engagement; and develop partnerships with diverse stakeholders. During this time, Ken has come to appreciate the high-level demand and empathetic leadership required to address this public health crisis and works tirelessly to build bridges with government, nonprofits, academia, homelessness providers, and other sectors. An eternal optimist, Ken’s NorthStar is making homelessness on SEPTA, rare, brief, and non-recurring, thereby ensuring that our transit system is safe, clean, and reliable.  SEPTA’s SCOPE Program will receive the American Public Transportation Association’s 2022 Innovation Award at their annual conference in October. Prior to his current role, Ken served as Surface Transportation Manager for 10 years and was responsible for managing service of 131 routes for buses and trolleys.  He also successfully orchestrated SEPTA’s Command Center operations during critical safety and service disruptions.  Other career highlights include creating SEPTA’s annual Holiday Vehicle Competition; leading high-profile, world-stage events such as the 2013 APTA Rail Conference, the NFL Draft, the 2013 US OPEN/USGA PGA, the Disabled Veterans Wheelchair Games, Philadelphia Eagles’ Championship, and Welcome America’s 4th of July police shuttle operations. Ken began his career in the public transportation industry serving as a bus operator for 17 years where he was recognized for his passion and innovation as Operator of the Year and excellence in ADA Customer Satisfaction. Ken serves as an Advisory Board member of the Alternative Response Unit (AR2), a novel approach to substance use that is committed to using person-to-person interactions and warm hand-off between EMS and Case Managers to engage people who use drugs (PWUD) with treatment services. He is an active member of Vulnerable Population National Workgroup on Homelessness and participates in the City of Philadelphia’s Opioid Response Unit Public Safety Strategy group.  He earned a B.A. in Business Management from Pierce College, and lives daily by his mantra, “Let safety consume us, innovation define us, and our customers drive us.”
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