A 24-year-old transit advocate's attempt to break a record and visit every single subway stop in the New York City subway system was derailed Wednesday by usual subway pitfalls -- train reroutings, police investigations and long waits.
Transit Advocate's Quest for Subway Record Derailed
Stefanie Gray's attempt to visit every subway station in NYC in record time was unsuccessful due to subway delays and other transit woes
By Andrew Siff
A Brooklyn woman wants to break the record for fastest trip ever through the subway system - 468 subway stations, more than 600 miles of track, in less than 24 hours. Andrew Siff reports. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012)
Stefanie Gray began her journey to visit all 468 stations Tuesday morning, starting at 34th Street.
“We’re totally stoked for this,” she said, as she boarded a downtown No. 1 train. Gray was joined by 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.
Gray’s goal was 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.
By Wednesday morning, Gray still needed to visit multiple stations in the Bronx when she realized she would be unsuccessful in breaking the record. She still planned to continue her journey, regardless of the time.
"I'm aware that we missed the record, but I'm also aware that this ride is still awesome -- for something that matters," she tweeted, including her #StopTheFareHike hashtag.
Gray said train reroutings, police investigations and a long wait for a Rockaway-bound A train during rush hour put a snag in her attempt.
The lack of women's bathrooms in stations also slowed her down, something MTA chairman Joe Lhota wished her luck with yesterday before her trip.
Gray was "dismayed" the trip was taking her as long as it did, pointing out that the previous record-holders did so in 2010, when there were two more train options to visit stations.
But she said she hoped the journey would still put attention on public transportation issues and fare hikes, the reason she set out in the first place.
"Hopefully, we'll be the champions of public transit," she said yesterday, as her adventure began.