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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis May 18, 2012
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Meet Jolene Molitoris!

Jolene M. Molitoris
US Railcar Company
Chair, APTA High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee

How many people do you employ/how many people work at your agency/business?
The Value Recovery Group (VRG) owns US Railcar and employs 150 people, with 10 working directly with US Railcar.

How long have you worked in the public transportation industry?
I have worked in transportation for 30+ years.

How long have you been an APTA member?
The answer depends on where I worked … but I have been involved with APTA for 20 years.

What drew you to a career in public transportation?
I was drawn to transportation in the beginning because I had a ground floor opportunity to join a new agency—the Ohio Rail Transportation Authority—and I thought that would be both challenging and interesting. “Interesting” turned into “fascinating” and then turned into “Wow!!” There’s nothing that transportation doesn’t touch in a very significant way. It connects to everyone in every demographic group. It’s a game changer!

What have you found to be the most valuable APTA benefit or resource?
There are so many benefits! First of all, I think a transportation career gives one a chance to be part of the extraordinary transportation family. Being a part of APTA and the APTA family gives you a network of colleagues, friends, people of like minds with whom to work, brainstorm, problem solve, create solutions that ensure success and who relish the outcomes of your efforts together. APTA is an organization that’s very responsive! APTA fights for what’s important to the American people. I especially like being part of an advocacy organization that operates at an extraordinarily high professional level with success outcomes all the time.

While there are certainly many other fine organizations, I have a special place in my heart for APTA. I feel this very strong connection. I have a level of confidence about the professionalism and integrity and responsiveness of APTA, and that’s why I support it and continue to want to be a part of it.

Please explain why or how this has helped.
I have had the privilege of working with the smartest, most talented, and experienced people in the transportation industry. An APTA member can be affected positively every day in every way if you avail yourself of all of APTA’s benefits. These include networking on the phone, committee activity—which is huge—legislative impact, recommended best practices, Passenger Transport, Speedlines (our High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee newsletter). Through an almost an endless list of opportunities, APTA provides a way to be successful to its members and to the industry overall.

What do you like most about your job?
I am energized by being involved with building our future together!! I believe incontrovertibly that we must build a transportation system in the U.S. for ourselves and the people of the future. And I believe that university students and young professionals and younger!—high school students—want a mobility option that most Americans just don’t have. To the extent that US Railcar can be part of the solution for mobility that is safe, fuel efficient, and kind to the environment—I love being part of such a worthwhile effort.

What is unique about your business?
Many people might be surprised to know that our Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) is very competitive in many corridors with other kinds of technology. Passenger service can begin with reasonable start-up costs and enable passengers to ride trains within 24 to 30 months, depending on the infrastructure needs. The US Railcar team believes that the DMU is a very high performance technology and very complementary to higher speed rail. Riders in Florida, Oregon, and Alaska love the experience! In fact, I understand that some Florida riders will pass up another train if they know a DMU is coming. What they love is the personal experience—huge domed windows, very quiet—a peaceful place in a beautiful environment where you can work in safety—something people really want when they travel.

Make sure you see Jolene Molitoris' video, now that you've read this!

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