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  Travelling NYC Subway in shortest time-world record set by Matt Ferrisi and Chris Solarz

 NEW YORK CITY, USA -- After 22 hours and 51 minutes, 468 train stations, 25 subway lines and a single potty break, Matt Ferrisi, 30 and Chris Solarz, 28, ended their marathon tour of all NYC Subway stations-seting the world record for Travelling NYC Subway in shortest time.

   Photo: Matt Ferriss (l) Chris Solarz (r) (enlarge photo)

   "We've been studying for six months - it's not that complicated," said Ferrisi, a quantitative analyst from Astoria. "It's only 468 factorial," he added - without a hint of sarcasm - referring to the number of subway stations in the system. They analyzed trillions of solutions and found the single shortest route.   

 The longtime friends, who work at a Manhattan investment firm, bested the previous world record of 24 hours and 54 minutes which was held by six former Manhattan high school classmates who set the standard in 2006.

 They used a computer program to navigate the fastest route through the system. They developed simulation software and analyzed "trillions of solutions" to devise the best route to break the Guinness world record for the speediest time through the rails.

   Solarz, who works with Ferrisi at a Manhattan investment firm, said the pair has painstakingly studied the system, drawing maps of subway exits and - perhaps more importantly - noting the locations of bathrooms. He spent 16 weeks developing proprietary simulation software in order to analyze all conceivable combinations of routes beginning at all 468 stations at each of 1,440 different times (every minute in a single day).

   Among the holdups, they said, were a suspicious package at Union Square and a long 2 a.m. delay on the G line at the Long Island City Court Square station. "We went from having perfectly synchronized the trains to missing every one," said Ferrisi, 28.

   The two had trained early for the four-borough ride by mapping out potential routes and putting in four weeks of trial runs. Over the course of six weeks, Ferrisi and Solarz painstakingly surveyed all 50 subway transfers, drawing maps of subway exits for efficient transfers.
    They crafted contingency plans and noted which stations have bathrooms. They know exactly where on each platform to wait for each train, and exactly when each train is expected to arrive.

   But as any straphanger can attest, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority isn't always going your way.

 "Everyone thought we were crazy, but we made it," Solarz said, crediting three cups of coffee for keeping him awake.

    The new subway kings weren't about to share their formula for crisscrossing the subway system in record time. "The route is like our secret sauce," Solzarz said. "We're keeping it to ourselves."
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Rosie Swale Pope

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

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