Metro Magazine

SEP-OCT 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

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66 < m ETRO m AGAZINE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014 Petra Mollet industry, she has helped put sustainabil- ity on the map in the transit industry, in- cluding at UITP and APTA, where she assisted in developing programs that ex- amined how the industry can be as envi- ronmentally, socially and economical- ly sustainable as possible. Additionally, Mollet is proud to be a part of the team that put together the frst World Congress on High-Speed Rail in the U.S., as well as more recently, the frst practicum on in- novative funding and fnancing tools for transit. "Both were truly international eforts and ones I certainly hope contributed to the conversation about transporta- tion development in this country," she says. At the same time, there are many transit projects here in the U.S. that war- rant being showcased on a world stage, she adds. Mollet is currently facilitating the de- velopment of APTA's next fve-year strate- gic plan, where the staf and members are examining emerging issues that will have an impact on transportation and transit. Tough Mollet says maintaining a bal- ance between staying in touch with the needs of APTA members and staf, while supporting daily operations and keeping a focus on the bigger picture for the orga- nization keeps her on her toes, she high- ly values the people she works with and the relationships she's built. She's always striving to rally people around a com- mon vision. "It's what keeps me excited on a day-to- day basis," Mollet says. "It's amazing what can be accomplished when you build a positive group dynamic." When she's not working, Mollet, who describes herself as a non-homebody, likes to run long-distance and trains out- side as often as she can. She is also a big fan of live music, particularly jazz, which she has developed a love for in the last few years of living in Washington, D.C. — Kelsey Nolan Petra Mollet, the chief of staff for the American Public Transportation Asso- ciation (APTA), didn't plan for a career in the transportation industry. Her ambi- tion, instead, laid in journalism, with her interests seeded by her studies in interna- tional relations and sustainability. The Belgium-native came to the U.S. in her youth, but returned to Brussels af- ter her studies and landed her first and only writing job. She was hired by the Eu- ropean Association of Automobile Man- ufacturers as a research assistant for its monthly newsletter. Because the news- letter addressed issues the European car industry was facing at the time, Mollet says the position got her very interested in transportation issues and the ramifca- tions it had for urban development and quality of life. "It was the renaissance of smart mobili- ty, with a lot of advances being made in in- telligent transportation systems (ITS) and trafc management," she explains. The subject of her writing piqued her curiosity about transportation and the much broader impact it had on society. Enough so, in fact, that she was steered away from writing and into the transpor- tation world. Mollet then spent fve years coordinat- ing POLIS, a European association of city and regional transportation authorities, mostly working on the introduction of ITS. She says that coming from the car in- dustry gave her a real appreciation for the role of the public sector and the leverage it had to shape both urban and regional transportation. Te position she held after that allowed her to travel the world. She worked for the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), which represents the transit industry worldwide to help build out the organization and its services out- side of Europe. As part of her work there, she developed relationships with and fo- rums for transportation authorities and businesses in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and of course, North America, and APTA in particular. Nine years later she was hired by APTA and came back to the U.S., frst as VP, strat- egy, and, for the past two years, as APTA's chief of staf. She works closely with AP- TA's leadership, members and staff, to ensure the strategic priorities of the or- ganization are met and support those in- dividuals in their work. Since Mollet joined the transportation WOMEN IN TRANSPORTATION Mollet was part of the team that put together the frst World Congress on High-Speed Rail in the U.S. and a practicum on innovative funding and fnancing tools for transit. Chief of Staff TITLE American Public Transportation Association ORGANIZATION Washington D.C. CITY

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