12:06 pm Oct. 24, 2012
A young transportation advocate's valiant effort to travel the entire subway system in the shortest time ever looks like it has failed.
Yesterday, at 12:37 p.m., Transportation Alternative's Stefanie Gray and a group of volunteers boarded the subway at Penn Station and set out to traverse the whole system in fewer than 22 hours, 52 minutes and 36 seconds, the previous record for a trip stopping at every possible station.
That means she would have had to complete the circuit by 11:29:36 a.m.
But as far we know, Gray is still riding the rails.
At 10:57, I emailed Michael Murphy, the spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, to see if he'd heard anything from Gray.
"Nope," he wrote back. "Not looking good."
An email to Gray sent a few minutes ago went unanswered.
But all may not be lost, according to Murphy.
Gray coordinates Transportation Alternatives' campaign against fare hikes, and the purpose of this effort was to draw attention to the pending fare hikes, and to Albany's underfunding of mass transit, one of the main reasons why such fare hikes are needed.
"I think a lot more people are aware of both the fare hike and the solution from Albany than they were before," said Murphy. "And we are still taking that message to the hearing next month and taking the signatures we collected in this process to Governor Cuomo."
The organization's Stop the Fare Hike petition now has more than 16,200 signatures. "My estimate would be we have gained over 1,000 signatures in the last day or two," said Murphy. "That's many times what we would expect to get in a week."
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