Brooklyn Resident Begins Subway Race In Protest Of MTA Fare Hike
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York City transit advocate on Tuesday began her attempt at a world record in an effort to stop a looming MTA fare hike.
As CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois reported, Stefanie Gray of Brooklyn took off at noon Tuesday on a mission to ride every subway station in the system in world record time.
With construction or service delays, sometimes getting from point A to point B can be frustrating, but just imagine having to get to every stop in the subway system.
Joined by a team of New Yorkers, Gray launched her mission to do just that, and break the Guinness World Record for time.
“We are so stoked to do this. We’re stoked to stop the fare hike, and we are the first women to do this,” she said.
Gray on Monday told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman that she would ride all the trains, “past all 468 stations in the New York City subway system, doors opening, not getting out.” Then she planned to backtrack on express trains.
Gray is the transit campaign coordinator for the transit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. The group called the event Tuesday, “The Race to Stop the Fare Hike.”
The group said it launched the event to raise awareness of the looming transit hike, and to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to put a stop to it.
“I hope Governor Cuomo is listening, and Governor Cuomo is invited to come along for the ride,” Gray said.
Before she went underground, Gray talked about the impact of recent service reductions and their impact on commuters.
“We lost two train lines, 36 bus lines – I mean, how much more are we going to take?” she said. “This is how we get to our jobs our schools our friends; our family. We just can’t keep paying more for less.”
While commuters have a lot riding on the changes proposed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, that did not keep gray from having an additional goal in mind regarding the MTA chairman.
“I think it would be cool if Joe Lhota could give up high five,” she said. “That’s all I want.”
Currently, the record for riding the entire subway system is 22 hours and 52 minutes. It was set on Jan. 22-23, 2009, by Chris Solarz and Matt Ferrisi.
Earlier this year, Adham Fisher of Leicester, England – who once held the record for the fastest ride on the Chicago Transit Authority ‘L’ system – tried unsuccessfully to break the New York subway record with his friend, Andy James.
Lhota said on Monday he expected the $2.25 base fare for the MTA system to increase. He said he thinks the most important thing is to keep the fare hike to an absolute minimum for working people who take advantage of discounted fares.
Transportation Alternatives launched a campaign to raise awareness of the planned fare hike by investing in public transit, gaining over 15,200 signatures so far.
One of the options that would leave the base fare at $2.25 would hike the cost of a monthly MetroCard to $125, a $21 increase and would hike an unlimited weekly card to $34, a $5 hike.
The second proposal would also leave the base at $2.25 and charge $119 for the monthly, $32 for the weekly and reduce the per-ride MetroCard bonus from 7 percent to 5 percent.
In addition to buses and subways, tolls on the agency’s nine bridges and tunnels will rise, as will Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North tickets.
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