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Member Profiles

NOVEMBER MEMBER PROFILE: Kemal Gefar

Name: Kemal Gefar
Employer: Mitsubishi Electric
Title: Systems Engineer

Bio: Kemal is a transportation professional with over 10 years of experience in engineering and infrastructure projects, 8 of which are focused on train control systems for metro and commuter rail systems with progressively responsible roles at transportation agencies, an engineering consultancy, and a multinational supplier. He currently works for Mitsubishi Electric as a systems engineer helping to modernize NYCT’s traditional signaling system by designing, installing, and commissioning Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) technology on the subway network.

Q&A:
What is your favorite YPT-NYC memory?  

The Holiday party hands down. There’s food to nosh on, interesting people to schmooze with, and an all-around great time and atmosphere.

If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?

While the IBX is a good start I’d like more circumferential subway lines for the outer boroughs. As a Queens kid traveling to see friends in Brooklyn was always a trek, The Bronx was nigh impossible, and just forget about Staten Island!

What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  

I fell into it. Right before joining the industry I was living in the suburbs of CT and found myself having to drive everywhere to attend social events, visit people, or even simply buy groceries. I hated it!  I’m a born and bred New Yorker, a true city rat if you will, so it was quite the shock to have my life centered around an automobile.

Sitting captive behind the steering wheel on my daily commute I realized that I took a well-functioning transportation system for granted and that my whole life prior to that point was enabled by a functioning transportation system in a dense urban environment. I remember going to preschool on the subway with my mother, waiting for the Q8 in the bitter cold to go to JHS, or the mad dash across Utica Ave. station from the A to the C (because in my bones I could feel an upcoming delay caused by the Hoyt-Schermerhorn interlocking – you just knew it). My first passport was my lime-green MetroCard, as a kid that third swipe opened up so many different neighborhoods and cultural experiences in NYC. In retrospect, I appreciate that these memories and experiences were centered around effective transportation and really shaped my outlook on life.

So when I had the opportunity to come back to an urban lifestyle (and ditch the car) I jumped at the opportunity.

What are you working on that you’re most excited by?  

Right now I’m working on the ‘QBL-East’ project which will extend CBTC operation for the E and F lines between Union Turnpike-Kew Gardens and Jamaica 179th St. in Queens. It will allow trains to run closer together with reduced headways. We are also removing lots of conventional equipment (e.g. hundreds of decades-old electromechanical relays) and replacing them with newer technology which means fewer maintenance problems over the long term.

CBTC projects require both wayside and onboard installations so I also get to think about technical designs and strategies for retrofitting CBTC technology into decades-old subway cars or planning for deployment in upcoming subway fleets.

I think it’s pretty cool that the projects that I work on will help transport thousands of people daily for the next few decades. And I like that there’s always a fresh technical challenge that keeps me engaged.

What career advice would you give to other YPT’ers interested in your career path?

 Network with and without purpose. By building and actively nurturing relationships with people in my immediate industry I’ve graciously been helped on the job, taught valuable industry lessons, and on more than one occasion offered new opportunities. Whereas building relationships with people outside of my immediate industry (YPT social events is fantastic for this!) I’ve been exposed to different viewpoints and perspectives which helps round out my vision of a cohesive and integrated transportation network and the role I play in making it come to fruition.

What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice an NYCT Subway Announcement?

Oscar the Grouch, a true OG! Actually, different subway lines should have different muppets do voiceovers. Sesame Street’s varied cast is a perfect match for all our different subway lines.

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Member Profiles

Member Profile: Jimmy Wang

KPMG, Infrastructure and Projects Advisory

“I’m a consultant with KPMG’s Infrastructure and Projects Advisory practice in New York. Our group specializes in providing financial and strategic advisory services to public and private sector clients involved in infrastructure or major construction projects. We work directly with public agencies and corporate clients at the management level to ensure their organizational and capital project needs are met. My focus is on transportation but the projects I’m staffed on can vary widely – I’m helping a DOT transform their incident response program through data optimization; doing a P3 financial analysis for an upcoming light rail line in LA, and construction auditing for a major airline’s new terminal at LGA. I’ve even done PMO work at a Whiteclaw factory!

I’ve dedicated my career to making an impact in transportation infrastructure and am also an avid railfan – my first job out of college was designing and inspecting railway tracks as an engineer.”

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC memory?  


I’m pretty new to YPT and I’ve only been to one event! Looking forward to attending more events and meeting more people in the organization.
 
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?


A more dynamic and unified commuter rail system in NYC – we need something like the RER in Paris. Getting the Interborough Express built and combining the LIRR, MNR and NJT would be a good start.


3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  

I grew up in Hong Kong, which had a great public transit system that allowed me to experience so much of urban life without ever needing a car. I’m a firm believer that building robust transit infrastructure is the only way the rapid urbanization of the world remains sustainable – but the US is really lagging behind.


4. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 


The best part about consulting is that you’re exposed to a lot of super exciting projects and clients – everything I’ve worked on, I’ve found objectively really cool. I recently attended Delta’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new LGA terminal where they brought in Governor Kathy Hochul, Delta CEO Ed Bastian, and PANYNJ Executive Director Rick Cotton. The program is still ongoing and I can’t wait to see what the fully completed terminal will look like. I’m personally very passionate about rail so I’m also excited to see where our work with LA Metro’s new light rail line will take us.. 


5. What career advice would you give to other YPT-ers interested in your career path?

Network, network, network! Consulting is a people-oriented job and soft skills are valued just as much as technical skills.

6. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice a NYCT Subway Announcement?

Lin-Manuel Miranda, everyone’s favorite New Yorker.

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Member Profiles

Member Profile: Raymond Tam, PE

Transportation Engineer at Greenman-Pedersen Inc

Raymond Tam is a transportation engineer and avid urbanist. He has worked on Transit Signal Priority, ADA pedestrian ramps, and asset management for the Empire State Trail. He is passionate about transit-oriented design and complete streets. He enjoys exploring historical sites of NYC and is planning on touring Gracie Mansion soon.

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC memory?  


I think just meeting so many different people in the transportation industry. As an engineer, I do not get to meet as many planners and people within transit. It is great to pick their brain and learn more about what they do. I like figuring out how engineers can complement planners and vice versa. One event I am looking forward to is the LGA tour in August.
 
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?


I’d love it if all elected officials and city employees all took transit to and from work within the city. Even our congressional representatives should take Amtrak to DC. Once they all take transit I think transit would change for the better.


3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  

I’ve always been into sustainability and reducing my own footprint. After learning that the transportation sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in America, it just made sense. One of my first internships was with NYCDOT and it kept snowballing. I interned at different consulting firms and I realized just how much I love transit after growing up commuting around the city on the subway and buses. I hope to work on more projects that complement both transit, freight, and personal vehicles. We can all thrive in the city.


4. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 


One recent project was working on the Empire State Trail. I loved seeing how this trail was connected and seeing how beautiful the trail is. The trail is well maintained and we managed the asset inventory of the trail. I would love to bike this trail one day. 


5. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice a NYCT Subway Announcement?

I know the unofficial talent scout of NY, New York Nico, who had partnered with the MTA to get some celebrities to do announcements. To add to his extensive list, I’d like any member of the Wu-Tang Clan, Bobby Shmurda, or Pete Davidson.

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Member Profiles

Member Profile: Daniel Feintuck

Discovery Attorney, Litigation Analyst and Bar Committee Member

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC memory?  


My first Transportation Camp. The exchange of ideas, and refreshing format, really gave me a different taste of things than what I get in the legal community.
 
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?


The RPA’s Fourth Regional Plan’s T-Rex (Trans-Regional Express) Regional Rail. This would revolutionize not just suburban and regional commuting, but also transportation in the outer boroughs.


3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  

I’ve been fascinated with cars, trucks, trains, and planes since I was a child!  As an adult, I’ve always found ways to be involved in my community. While some matters that I’ve worked on involve transportation, most don’t, although this is something I hope to change sooner than later. So when a colleague suggested that I look for a committee at the NYC Bar Association, I applied and got accepted!


4. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 


Getting involved with and learning more about Weigh in Motion and freight movement around NYC. We too often forget how important this issue is and how little improvements, such as the Off Hours Delivery Program and Weigh-in-Motion can make business more efficient, preserve our infrastructure, reduce traffic, raise our revenue, and reduce emissions. 


5. What career advice would you give to other YPT’ers interested in your career path?

Find ways to get involved civically.  Join a committee or two to lend your expertise and knowledge to help make an even greater impact!


6. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice a NYCT Subway Announcement?

We don’t have to look too far.  How about Irv Gikofsky aka Mr. G the weatherman? [Ed. Good choice. Real New Yorkers know.]


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Member Profiles

Member Profile: Sophie Maerowitz

Sophie Maerowitz (she/her)

Project Manager, Bicycles Unit, NYC Department of Transportation

For the better half of a decade, Sophie Maerowitz has advocated for better cycling, pedestrian, and bus infrastructure in New York City, having served on Transportation Alternatives’ Manhattan Activist Committee and on Manhattan Community Board 3’s Transportation Committee as a public member. Notable advocacy milestones have included the Chrystie Street two-way protected bike lane and the 14th Street Busway in Manhattan and City Council legislation mandating Open Streets permanence. 

In 2020, Sophie co-launched the Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition, a volunteer group managing the operations and programming of Avenue B’s Open Street in Manhattan. 

Sophie graduated from CUNY Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs with a Masters of Public Administration in Fall 2021 and in April 2021 started as a Project Manager at the New York City Department of Transportation’s Bicycles Unit. A lifelong New Yorker, she holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC memory?  


I attended a networking event as part of a larger multi-day conference and didn’t know anybody there, but swallowed my nerves,  walked over to a table of YPT members, and soon we were merrily talking bus infrastructure. It stuck with me that the group made an effort to make me feel included even though I come from the advocacy world rather than a traditional planning background.

 
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?


Fewer and smaller cars in the roadway—prioritizing space for pedestrians, buses and bikes over less equitable street uses like free curbside parking for private vehicles. 


3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  

I started biking to work about 10 years ago and it woke me up to the unconscionable way we treat our most vulnerable road users. I became thoroughly invested in trying to promote safer, carbon-free, and carbon-light ways of getting around cities. 

While I’m by no means a hardcore cyclist—I’ve never completed a century ride, and can’t change a tire for my life—I firmly believe the best way to experience cities is by bike. Case in point: A close friend threw her bachelorette party in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, and I insisted we all try out their bikeshare system while we visited. Turned out it was the easiest and most fun way to hop between parade routes! I later noticed she added an e-bike to her wedding registry….Coincidence? I think not!


4. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 


As a new recruit, I’ve been running support on some bike network expansions and improvements in the Bronx and Brooklyn, as well as on our new Bike the Block program which brings learn-to-ride and bike repairs to neighborhoods that have long been underserved by bike infrastructure. It’s awesome to see a new generation embrace active transportation!


5. What career advice would you give to other YPT’ers interested in your career path?

Active transportation happens in the open air and is therefore social by nature. There are ample opportunities to meet like-minded people on group bike rides, Open Streets events and through volunteering and organizing at advocacy organizations like Transportation AlternativesOpen PlansRiders Alliance, and Families for Safe Streets. And Twitter has been a great place to meet planners, nonprofit pros, and advocates. Simply by using #bikenyc #OpenStreets hashtags, you can build out a great network of locals with their ears and eyes on the transportation beat.


6. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice a NYCT Subway Announcement?


I’ll level with you, I’m still kind of annoyed at Natasha Lyonne for her anti-bike lane comments a few years ago, but the newest season of Russian Doll is a love letter to the subway at a time it could really use a boost, so her iconic rasp would be a win in my book.

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Member Profiles

Member Profile: Priyanshu Sharma

Priyanshu Sharma

Urban Planner & Designer at Equitable Cities

Priyanshu is an urban planner and designer at Equitable Cities who specializes in transportation planning, design, data analysis, and visualization. He holds a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Planning from CEPT University, India. His work and research primarily focus on transportation planning and design, land use, spatial analysis, and data analysis and visualization. Moreover, his academic and professional experience in the planning profession has also inculcated the art value of good communication, which is not limited to maps, visuals, and interactive platforms, but also persuasive and engaging storytelling for our communities.

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC memory?  


It was fascinating how I joined this group. I had an opportunity to speak with some New York-based transportation professionals during one of the career workshops. After that session, I contacted that person on LinkedIn to ask more questions about transportation planning opportunities. And they recommended that I join this group, and I’ve been a member of the YPT-NYC group for a year now. I am always on the lookout for new opportunities and events within the group. And it was really helpful. It’s wonderful to be a part of this and to be able to share and learn from the other group members. I’m excited to meet some of them in person.

 
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?


When it comes to planning, there are many things I’d like to change, but having last-mile connectivity would be interesting if I had to specify changes for regional transportation. Create active transportation or bike-share programs that connect our neighborhoods to major transit stations, for example. I believe that the way we plan our cities, particularly in suburban areas (which encompasses the majority of America), has made us overly reliant on automobiles, and that small changes can make a significant difference. Cities and communities will benefit from differences not only in terms of connectivity, but also in terms of economy, environment, and improving public health.


3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  

People spend an ample amount of time of their day on the streets or commuting through various modes to reach their destinations. It is intriguing for me while commuting to observe people and see how people respond to their surroundings.After my undergraduate degree in planning, I spent considerable time living in two metro cities i.e. Mumbai and Bangalore for work. On one of the monsoon days, while heading back home, as I was getting down to my metro station suddenly it started pouring heavily and everyone was rushing towards finding a safe place and tried gathering under a cantilever. Some held their bags on their head to try to escape the rain. I was amazed when I saw that chaos. That day I realized the role of urban professionals in planning and designing cities beyond just the provision of infrastructure to create livable environments where people can stop, pause and play instead of just treating them as spaces they need to pass by to reach their destinations.These encounters reasonably entrenched my interest in planning and design, especially in transport and urban design where I, as an urban planner and designer, can create a better urban environment by working on the most used public spaces and transit systems.


4. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 


I don’t know where to begin, but I suppose being a young professional in this fraternity, I got an opportunity to work in a diverse sector and with some really amazing people. To start with now, a lot of my work focuses on transportation equity, planning, and research which is exciting. Previously, I had an opportunity to work with the NYC Ferry team where I was responsible for developing a framework for the database system to facilitate the operation and maintenance of the waterfront development and ferry projects. Before that, I provided technical assistance in the implementation of a micro-mobility project for the City of Newark. So, these two work experiences were really fulfilling because I was involved in the planning throughout the project. But prior to that, I had two years of work experience in the field of planning, design, and research in India, where I worked in different capacities with social entrepreneurs, planning organizations, and research institutions.


5. What career advice would you give to other YPT’ers interested in your career path?

I would definitely say build your technical skills, as it will be helpful to brand yourself while giving interviews or working with the team. Don’t limit yourself to your area of interest, especially during the initial years of your career. Find out what opportunities you think are right for you, learn new things, and broaden your skills and knowledge. It will boost your network and help you to identify your area of interest because in the real world things are very different from the academic world.


6. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice a NYCT Subway Announcement?


It would be amazing to hear the announcement in Abel Makkonen Tesfaye’s Voice aka “The Weeknd” or Alicia Keys since her work is strongly associated with New York.

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Member Profiles

Member Profile: Eric Rago

Eric Rago

Director, Location Partnerships & Strategy at Getaround

“I currently work for Getaround, a leading car-sharing company that operates in over 950 cities worldwide. I lead our public partnerships, private partnerships, strategy, and operations teams. These teams are focused on creating partnerships to grow carshare from a single hotel to entire cities. Prior to joining Getaround, I was one of the first employees for ParkWhiz, a platform that makes it easy to find, book, and pay for parking, where I helped scale the company nationally and launched the NYC market.”

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC memory?  


I really enjoy all the great panels where we can learn from thought leaders in transportation. I am looking forward to meeting more of the YPT-NYC community in person.  

 
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?


Increase the utilization of curb space by reserving more for Open Streets, restaurants, loading zones, and shared mobility like carshare, bikeshare, and micromobilty.   


3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  

At a young age, I struggled to understand why traffic and congestion couldn’t be solved. This led me to join a startup to help reduce congestion by directing cars to off-street parking. From there I was hooked, now I collect subway cards and look at parking garages wherever I travel. 


4. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 


Getaround’s vision is to make cities and communities better places to live, which means bringing affordable transportation options to NYC and other cities. Transportation is the second-highest cost for households. Increasing shared mobility in areas that have few accessible transportation options means a more equitable transportation network. I’m proud that Getaround rates are significantly less than other carshare providers and can help extend the reach of fixed-route transit. 


5. What career advice would you give to other YPT’ers interested in your career path?

Find an organization that you are passionate about and find a way to get your foot in the door. Do not focus on the initial title or role, instead put yourself in a position to prove your value and the rest will work itself out. If you’re passionate about reducing traffic and bringing mobility options to cities, our team is growing!


6. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice a NYCT Subway Announcement?


Mars Blackmon, AKA Spike Lee with a cameo from Michael Jordan. [Ed. This would be sick.]

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Member Profiles

Member Profile: Axel Hellman

Axel Hellman

Co-Founder and Special Vice President of Lines at Rally OurBus

A co-founder and I started OurBus, one of the leading brands for intercity bus service in the Northeast. We are a tech and marketing platform and do not actually own any buses—they are contracted out. We recently merged with Rally, another tech platform for bus trips, to become Rally OurBus. I went to college in California (USC) but have been in the NYC area since. If you need a ticket to Boston, Washington, or anywhere else in the region let me know!

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC memory?  


I’ve enjoyed the happy hours in 2021 more than before. After the first couple of lockdowns, this type of human contact was really something I appreciated!

 
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?


I’ve become so jaded at the slow pace of progress that it’s hard to think about this! This answer is self-interested, but I would restore the Decamp commuter bus to Port Authority that used to stop on my corner. It has been suspended for 2 years now. I live in the suburbs but before COVID, in the right conditions, I could take that bus and get home in 40 minutes. 


3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  

I was always interested in transportation, but what opened my eyes was doing a summer internship at NJ Transit in the Bus Service Planning department.  It taught me a lot that I still use on a day-to-day basis at Rally OurBus.


4. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 


We have a microtransit pilot in-house called OurBus Door to Door.


5. What career advice would you give to other YPT’ers interested in your career path?

Choose a very specific, niche thing that no one else is recognized as an expert in. If you focus on it, it is very easy to become the world’s greatest expert in that one tiny area
 
6. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice a NYCT Subway Announcement?


Bernie Sanders. His classic Brooklyn accent would be perfect for this.

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Member Profiles

Member Profile: Lauren Rushing

Lauren Rushing
Lauren Rushing Consulting, LLC
Mobility Planner and and Cycling Advocate

Twitter: @CycleRush

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lauren.rushing.16 

Instagram: @laurenrushing

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-rushing-832a47102/ 

Lauren Rushing is a former YPT-NYC board member and an independent mobility planning consultant and cycling advocate. Lauren works with clients to develop strategic mobility plans for local governments, with a focus on creating complete and integrated multimodal transportation systems that serve people and provide mobility choices. Lauren is driven by her belief that bicycles are the missing link to many urban challenges, and puts her professional skills to work advocating for policies and infrastructure that will facilitate a cultural shift to legitimize cycling (and other active modes) as a mode of transportation in urban areas.

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC memory?  
This is a hard one, but I think it would have to be the YPT-NYC/WE Bike Queens Bike Tour last summer. Enjoying summer in the city by bike is always a favorite pastime, but on the Queens tour we also learned about the process involved in building bicycle infrastructure in the city and got to see many of the recent projects first-hand, including the famous 34th Ave Open Street. We had the opportunity to work with staff in the NYC DOT Bicycle Unit to organize the tour and also got to meet some of New York transportation and open space influencers including Jim Burke (34th Ave Open Street) Evie Hantzopolous and Irak Cehonski (31st Ave Open Street) and Kyle Gorman (Senior Program Manager of the Public Space Unit at NYCDOT), as well as local business owners. During the tour we also ran in to Clarence Eckerson Jr. of Streetfilms!
 
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?
Hands down, the effective implementation of a strategic plan for bicycle (and micromobility) parking throughout the region. Bicycle parking is one of the biggest obstacles to conveniently using a bicycle as a mode of transportation in New York, both in residential areas and commercial areas. To provide a personal example, there is no public bicycle parking on the street where I live. So, before I moved into my 5-floor walk-up, I made sure it was clear that using the downstairs basement to store my bicycle was a condition of me signing the lease. At the time, and to my annoyance, the building management made me sign a waiver releasing them of liability if it were to be stolen – but fine. However, 10 months later, they gratuitously decided I wasn’t allowed to use the basement space anymore. Since there is no bicycle parking on my street and no “safe” parking anywhere nearby, I am now forced to carry it up and down five flights of stairs every time I want to use it. Needless to say, my usage definitely decreased. Policies that ensure space like this can be used for bicycle parking should be included in a strategic plan. In addition, since bicycle theft is a big issue, the plan should also consider ways of providing secure bicycle parking facilities throughout the region. Luckily, companies like Oonee are already getting creative and providing options, but we need the city to embrace these options. Lastly, travel outside the U.S. and you’ll find awe inspiring, massive bicycle parking garages at major transit stations allowing people to use bikes (and other emerging technologies) as a first-last mile solution. As the “greatest city in the world” we shouldn’t sell ourselves short on these important infrastructure investments.


3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  

My journey to a career in urbanism and transportation began as a teenager living in Jacksonville, Florida – one of America’s most sprawled cities characterized by quintessential suburban development. Having grown up in a city built for cars and lacking an enticing and reliable transit system, I was awe struck by the multimodal cities I visited, and later moved to, as an adult. 

I remember when studying abroad, navigating and riding the metro was such a fun thing to me! I loved learning the system and memorizing the transit map. It was a very different lifestyle from how I grew up and somehow that felt more like freedom to me than when I first earned my driver’s license. That’s when I fell in love with cities. 

 
4. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 
In 2021, I had the pleasure of managing community outreach for the Essex-Hudson Greenway campaign with the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition. The Essex-Hudson Greenway is a proposed, nearly nine-mile long, multi-use trail corridor following the abandoned Norfolk Southern rail line that runs through eight towns between Montclair and Jersey City. When complete, the Greenway will be New Jersey’s version of the High Line creating more than 135 acres of new green space, improved options for active transportation and recreation, and will act as an economic engine for nearby communities by attracting visitors to local shops and restaurants along the trail.

After decades of advocacy from local residents and electeds, more than three years of direct negotiations with Norfolk Southern, and personally more than one year of full-time work galvanizing community support for the project, in November the State of New Jersey committed to providing funding and securing purchase rights to the existing railway property identified for the Greenway!

Playing a part in bringing such an impactful project to success and being a part of the community of support that built up around the project has been truly amazing and definitely the highlight of my career.

 
5. What career advice would you give to other YPT’ers interested in your career path?

Don’t be afraid to fail. I know it sounds cliché, but I held myself back so much early on in my career with my imposter syndrome. Push yourself to do things that are out of your comfort zone. Say yes to things when you want to say no. You might surprise yourself. You WILL surprise yourself!

That would be a great YPT event. A webinar on how to overcome imposter syndrome. Or perhaps a good topic for the next YPT Podcast club!
 
6. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice a NYCT Subway Announcement?
I absolutely adored Schitt’s Creek and think Catherine O’Hara’s character, Moira Rose, is hilarious. I would love to hear Catherine do an announcement in character as Moira. 

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Member Profiles

Member Profile: Lauren Clark

Lauren Clark
NJ Transit
Principal Projects & Strategic Investment Program Coordinator.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/laurclar

Lauren Clark is a writer and transit professional who specializes in driving organizational transformation.

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC event and why?  
Each event I attend successively becomes my favorite.  I loved going behind the scenes at Grand Central this fall.  Can’t wait to have a new favorite soon.
 
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?
All transit should be free for all riders.  Transportation is a right, not a privilege.  I’ll live and die on that hill.


3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  
I’ve never owned a car, so I depend on public transportation to get everywhere I go.  I understand how absolutely essential transit is, and I know how sacred and safe a space it can be when it’s done right.  I’m honored to have a hand in making sure as many people as possible have access to these resources.

 
4. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 
It was a privilege to lead NJ TRANSIT’s ten-year strategic planning effort back in 2019 and 2020.  Since then, I’ve been working closely with the Human Resources team to drive progress toward their identified strategic initiatives, which includes implementation of a Human Capital Management system and major changes to most of our processes.  I’m a sucker for driving transformation efforts—the more impossible change feels, the bigger the knot or the puzzle, the more I want to tackle it.

 
5. What career advice would you give to other YPT’ers interested in your career path?
Find the system you’ll never get tired of riding and dedicate yourself to it.  Worked for me.
 
6. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice a NYCT Subway Announcement?
The weird robotic voice who announces (and adorably mispronounces) the stops on NJ TRANSIT trains, of course.