If you see two guys emerge from Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway subway station tomorrow around 11:30 a.m., looking a little weary but excited, it might be Matt Ferrisi and Chris Solarz. The pair are are in the middle of their attempt to break the Guinness World Record™ for the fastest ride through all 468 stations of New York City Subway system. The current record—24 hours, 54 minutes, 3 seconds—was set in 2006 but Ferrisi and Solarz are hoping to ride the system in under 24 hours (they started at Far Rockaway-Mott Ave station in Queens at 1:30 PM ET).
Why do they think they'll succeed? The pair developed computer models, analyzing "all conceivable combinations of routes beginning at all 468 stations at each of 1,440 different times (every minute in a single day)," weeded through all the (trillions of) possibilities and picked the shortest route. We spoke to Solarz when he and Ferrisi were transferring from the M at Myrtle Avenue to the J (they allotted 18 minutes for the transfer, but the train got there in 3 minutes!)where they were about 25% through their ride. He sounded confident—"We haven't been derailed yet"— and described their prep: Going to all the stations with transfers and four 6-hour practice runs, each at the times they expect to those stations during their journey.
Solarz added that people have recognized them from the Daily News article and were taking pictures with them! And you might run into them—Solarz, who has a sign on his backpack, has been taking pictures while Ferrisi is recording data (time they stopped at which station, etc.).