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Rail News: People
Rising Stars: Winnie Chang, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Winnie Chang, 31
Project manager, rail logistics and planning division
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)
Job description: Chang began her railroading career in August 2014 as a leadership fellow in the rotational management program at the PANYNJ. In April 2016, she applied for a permanent position in the Port Authority-Trans Hudson’s (PATH) rail planning and logistics group, where she now manages the impact of external real estate developments on the PATH system.
Education: New York University, Tisch School of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts degree; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Master of Science in Transportation and Master of City Planning
Nominator’s quote: “She has built fruitful relationships between the Port Authority and external stakeholders, sometimes overcoming tumultuous legacies to do so, and continues to work tirelessly to help the region plan as one unit instead of segmented parts.” — Rebecca Cassidy, PANYNJ
Why did you go into railroading?
I worked on transportation initiatives in Alaska for a summer after college (Alaska Transportation Priorities Project). This was my first introduction to transportation as a possible field. Afterwards, I worked for a few years at a private NYC startup.
To pursue a career in urban planning and public transportation, I returned to school. While in graduate school, I conducted urban transportation research with the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and as part of a sustainable transportation internship at the World Bank.
I found a home in MIT’s Transit Lab where I was surrounded by fascinating student research partnering with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Transport for London. I wanted to work on regional transportation issues and, if given the opportunity, work for a public transit agency.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of so far?
I’m proud of building relationships with a wide array of PATH stakeholders in a short period of time and I’m proud of making headway in getting PATH reimbursed for our operational support of external projects.
What inspires you?
The people I work with at PATH, the resilience of PATH and Port Authority staff in the face of extreme conditions such as Superstorm Sandy and 9/11, and the greater mission of keeping the railroad safely operating to serve the region.
What is a little-known fact about you?
I’ve through-hiked Vermont’s Long Trail.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
Hiking/camping, reading science fiction and comic books, jumping in the ocean, napping on the beach.
What advice would you share with a first-year railroader?
Tap into the multi-generational knowledge working at the railroad. Keep going until someone tells you to stop.
What would you say to convince someone to consider railroading as a career?
If you care about the public good, are driven by big, complex challenges, and are willing to work through all manner of obstacles, work for a public transit agency or passenger railroad.
Rising Stars 2017 Award Winners:
Arthur Adams Jr.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Belt Railway Co. of Chicago
National Transportation Safety Board
Texas Central Partners LLC
BNSF Railway Co.
Brightline (All Aboard Florida)
Short Line Safety Institute
Dallas Area Rapid Transit/Trinity Railway Express
Lake State Railway Co.
Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon
Watco Cos. LLC
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