The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has congratulated Arup Graduate Rail Engineer Jaya Negi for taking out top honours at the AusRAIL PLUS pitching competition this week.

Jaya pitched her idea to change the future of rail to AusRAIL PLUS delegates.

Her COchoo app would use a carbon footprint calculator to educate people on sustainable travel and attract more commuters to rail.

ARA Chief Executive Officer and pitching competition judge Caroline Wilkie said Jaya had pitched an inspiring solution that could make a real difference in the rail industry.

“At the core of Jaya’s pitch were two critical issues for the rail industry right now – supporting a return to rail after COVID-19 lockdowns and facilitating sustainable travel to support our long term future,” Ms Wilkie said.

“Jaya’s concept offers an engaging approach to informing people on how they can support emissions reduction by leaving the car at home and choosing rail.”

Four finalists pitched their concepts from the conference stage on Tuesday, outlining a wide range of solutions to support the future of the industry.

Arup Railway Engineer Athi Selladurai discussed the potential for rail to support sustainability communities, with a pitch to deliver solar powered micro-mobility solutions at railway stations.

WSP Engineers Melissa Bong highlighted the importance of brining people back to the rail network following the easing of pandemic restrictions, sharing her vision for a loyalty rewards program for people using rail in their daily livers.

SYSTRA Scott Lister Graduate Engineer Benjamin Voss delivered his pitch on a ‘green solution’ for rail.

Ms Wilkie said the judges were impressed by the high calibre of this year’s pitches.

“All of the entrants taking part this year surpassed expectations and have shown us there is a lot to look forward to as the next generation of rail professionals build their careers,” Ms Wilkie said.

The pitching competition is held each year at AusRAIL and provides an opportunity for young rail professionals to showcase their ideas to senior industry leaders.

Ms Wilkie judged the awards together with ARA Young Leaders Advisory Board members Melanie Bowden, Liam O’Shannessy and Tahni Littlejohn.

The winner will receive free entry to AusRAIL 2022 and be offered the opportunity to speak as part of the program.



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