GIRL ON THE TRAIN Polina Raygorodskaya at Boston’s South Station, which, thanks to Wanderu, may soon be much more crowded.



Designing a high-tech solution for a thorny problem: making bus and train travel as effortless as flying

HAVING THREE DISTINCT CAREERS by the time you’re 25 sounds ridiculous, unless you’ve been reinventing yourself since age 4. In 1990, Polina Raygorodskaya and her family fled Communist Russia, arriving in the Boston area on a refugee visa. “I felt like an outsider,” says Raygorodskaya, who, despite being half Jewish and barely able to speak English, joined a choir at the local Catholic church, hoping to blend in.

Ever since, Raygorodskaya has discovered the virtues of adaptation, with a career that has spanned fashion, communications, and now transportation tech. At 16, the lanky high school student caught the attention of a modeling agency and began turning up in ads and walking the runway at New York Fashion Week. Then, when she was 19, studying entrepreneurship at Babson College, small fashion designers turned to her for publicity help, and she hatched a public relations firm.

So when a new business idea came to her in her mid-20s, Raygorodskaya decided it was time to make her unlikeliest career pivot yet. Wanderu, as her new company would be named, was a technology solution for a longtime

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