‘Transit Racer’ Will Attempt to Travel to Every MBTA Station In Record Time
UPDATE, November 25: A transit racer that traveled from England to Boston to try and ride every MBTA line in record time achieved his goal on Monday. Adham Fisher, who has completed similar feats on other metropolitan transit lines, rode the Red, Green, Blue, and Orange lines, to every stop, in 8 hours, 5 minutes, and 16 seconds.
“Mr. Fisher reminded everyone that the MBTA offers the easiest and most convenient way to get around Greater Boston,” said Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the MBTA.
Fisher kept tabs with Boston as he navigated his way through the system with the help of 13-year-old Miles Taylor, a resident that runs an MBTA-related blog. The duo received “a lot of help”—and custom designed t-shirts—from Steven Beaucher, co-owner of the WardMaps store. The record-breaking riders continuously ran into problems as they kept pushing back their estimated arrival time at Ashmont Station Monday afternoon. But they finally made it just after 2:30 p.m., after a long day and adventurous day on the rails.
The T gave Fisher a special commendation for completing the task—something no one has done in that short amount of time before. The certificate says:
EARLIER: Adham Fisher has a layover in Boston in late November, and instead of mulling about at Logan Airport, waiting for his plane to arrive, he’s going to attempt to set the record for traveling to every MBTA station on the map in the shortest amount of time.
With a little over eight hours to spare, the Leicester, England native has been scouring the T’s maps, and researching the stations, to try and execute the perfect plan come November 25, when he arrives in Boston. “Hopefully I can do it,” said Fisher, adding that he has been warned by locals about how the MBTA is synonymous with disabled trains and late arrivals. “I have allowed for about eight hours, but apparently your system is very old and prone to delays, so you can’t be sure.”
Fisher hasn’t arrived in the U.S. yet, but he already picked up on the fact that riders seem to “loathe” the MBTA, something he said he hasn’t seen in other cities where he has attempted to break records for traveling on the transit lines. “I hear that you complain about it all the time,” he said. “I haven’t seen that anywhere else, really. I was surprised because I think everybody hates public transit to some extent, but not to the extent of the Boston vitriol.”
In 2011, Fisher held the record for traveling to every station on the Chicago Transit Authority, hitting all 143 stations, leading to an award from the agency’s president. Since his triumph, the city has added two more stations however, so for him, the record has been “reset.” His Chicago adventures later led to residents attempting the feat, and created a “cult following” among train enthusiasts in the community, he said.
The British “transit racer” has even taken on the Paris Metro, New York City’s subways, and attempted to set the Guinness World Record for fastest time traveling on London’s underground system 20 times, to no avail. There is no Guinness Record for the MBTA line, and he doesn’t expect to create a category since his trip is coming up fast, so this round of train hopping will be for the sake of his “personal satisfaction.”
“[Guinness World Records] only considers London and New York, but the thing is, you can just take the rules and apply them to any other rail system really,” he said.
He won’t be setting foot at each MBTA station, he said, merely passing through as the trains stop, which will cut the time down significantly. To help him get around more efficiently, he has enlisted the help of some MBTA bloggers and the folks that run the WardMaps store in Cambridge.
Currently, according to MBTA officials, the only public record of people riding the trains to every T station comes from a group of MIT graduate students over the summer. At the time, in June, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in his 15 years on the job he was unaware of anyone else successfully taking on the challenge and recording it.
Fisher wouldn’t disclose how he will go about getting around in Boston because his itinerary is still in the works—he also didn’t want to give away any clues to how he will cram in all those stations in such a short time span. “The route is under secret pressure…now that I know others have done it, if I give any of the route plans away, then that sets someone up to beat me,” he said.