Riding Rails to Break Record and Avert Fare Hike


When a Brooklyn woman leaped out of her seat to snap a picture of the Whitehall Street subway station on Tuesday afternoon, fellow passengers looked on with little interest.

But when Stephanie Gray, 24, asked for witness signatures following the snapshot, onlookers soon realized this was more than just a casual tourist memorializing the big city.

Whitehall Street station was Gray’s first stop in her attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the fastest subway trip traveling every line and hitting every station. She also was using the stunt to dramatize opposition to the MTA’s expected fare hikes.

Gray, who needed witness signatures and photographs to abide by Guinness rules, maintained that she would love to make the record books, but her top priority was pressuring Albany to give more funds to the MTA to avert the hikes.

“If I don’t win, it’s going to be disappointing, but it backs up our message that we’re paying more for less,” Gray told a reporter.

Joined by her two friends, Meredith Slavek, 28, and Stevie Summersie, 27, zx 630 Gray must travel in less than 22 hours, 52 minutes and 36 seconds to break the record. Perhaps not as daunting, Gray hopes to simultaneously add to the 15,000 signatures she’s already acquired on a petition urging Governor Cuomo to reconsider the impending hikes.

She expected to collect 50,000 signatures protesting the fourth fare hike in five years.

“If you think just five years ago, a 30-day MetroCard was $76. Now it might rise to $125,” Gray told a reporter. “You know, we hear so much talk in the media about gas prices going up, what about hard-working New Yorkers who can’t afford to shell out half of their paychecks for an unlimited?”

The campaign coordinator for Transportation Alternatives, Gray kept fans updated on her route by uploading photos of each station on her Twitter account.

The record was set in 2009 before the MTA enacted service cuts after losing $260 million in transit funding.

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