If it took you 24 hours to get home on the subway you might vow never to use mass transit again.
But for Brooklyn commuter Stefanie Gray, it’s quite the opposite.
Gray is intentionally trying to hit every stop in the system -- all 468 stations -- in less than one day. And she's trying to do it faster than anyone’s ever done before.
“We’re totally stoked for this,” said the 24-year-old, as she boarded a downtown No. 1 train at 34th street. Gray had two friends with her: Stevie Summerise, who collected signatures from witnesses; and Meredith Sladek, a co-worker from Transportation Alternatives, a non-profit known for needling the MTA about rising prices.
"My beef with the fare hike,” said Summerise, “is the quality is decreasing as the price is increasing --and it's not fair."
Gray’s goal is to make the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest trip through the subway system. The current mark of 22 hours, 52 minutes and 36 seconds was set in 2010.
Gray figures if she makes history, she’ll get lots of press, and maybe the resulting attention will affect the MTA’s plan to raise subway and bus fares next march.
“Hopefully, we’ll be the champions of public transit,” said Gray.
She’s tweeting her progress on the Transportation Alternatives page and on her personal Twitter. She already got the attention of MTA Chairman Joe Lhota who wished her luck but added a little bit of sarcasm.
“Bathrooms? Like I said, good luck,” he tweeted.
The journey has rules: the women must take time-stamped photos at every station, and gather signatures from witnesses. They’ve packed plenty of food and don’t plan on getting any sleep.
“I’ve pulled all-nighters before in college,” said Sladek, who’s a major advocate of bike lanes and other means of avoiding cars. “But staying awake, getting on point, taking pictures, that’s part of the process.”