split image of kate jones holding her mta card and standing in a subway

The New York City Subway system is the main public transportation system in New York and one of the oldest and largest in the world.

But knowing that didn’t intimidate Kate Jones, who on 17 April 2023, broke the record for the fastest time to travel all New York City subway stations in just 22 hours 14 minutes 10 seconds.


The Switzerland native says her record attempt was a culmination of multiple things coming together at once. 

“I’m an active person – CrossFit, running, climbing - but I broke my ankle really badly in August of 2022,” said Kate. 

“Being active, I was not a patient patient. Healing was really slow and after trying to jump rope in November, I gave myself a stress fracture! I had to really take it easy physically.”

It was during this time that Kate’s work contract ended, leaving her in search of a project that would be fun and engaging to solve. 

“After working on it for a few weeks, I found a viable route and had to see if I could physically handle it,” said Kate. 

“So, I started running again – just 50 feet (15.24 metres) at first, then after a few days, I could do 100 feet (30.48 metres). And I got up to 2 miles (3.2 km) before I booked the ticket to New York to put my plan into action and give it a try!”

Kate really enjoyed the process and loved seeing how her plan worked theoretically versus practically. 

“I was asked a lot if I worked for the MTA. There were a few people who were very excited on my behalf and even one person who, unprompted, asked me if I was doing the Subway Challenge,” said Kate. 

“I had been to all but one station, so it was also fun that my last station for the record was the only station I had never visited! And of course, seeing my plan come to fruition was really rewarding.”

Though Kate managed to get through the challenge, she says there were absolutely some difficult parts of the record attempt. 


“The most difficult part was the endurance aspect – being awake and alert for 22 hours straight, with no food and no rest breaks was really tough,” she said. 

 “Or the fact that only eight bathrooms were open in the whole system. Not sure which made it harder.”

Although Kate says New York City is beautiful, her absolute favourite part of the entire experience was seeing the art in all the subway stations. 

“I love how each station’s art is unique and distinct,” she said. 

 “I made some interactive art while a NY city-based performance artist, maybe I will pitch it to the MTA!”

Although the NYC transit fare is $2.75 (£2.21) per subway ride, Kate says she did not spend all that much on her journey. 

Having purchased an unlimited metro card, visiting each one of the stations cost her a grand total of $33 (£26.56). 

Kate also says that her experience did not come without its challenges, but good planning helped her overcome them.

“I had a few instances where I had to change my plans because something happened on a line and I was faced with a choice – change the plan or risk being able to finish in time,” she said. 

“And since I had worked on it for weeks, I knew my options and the next best route. 

“I only had 90 seconds to decide what to do from when I found out there was an issue on another line and needing to exit the train I was on for another station."

Kate says she often had to trust that she was well prepared and had the right data to properly weigh the options to make the best decisions.


Kate was excited to learn that she broke the record title for the fastest time to travel all New York City subway stations and had such a great time planning for it that she wasn’t even upset she had to make three attempts to earn the record title.

“I think my friends were more upset than I was! But then one of them convinced me to try again and then I was able to break the record,” she said.

“My support team was really excited! The moment I got the message, I had just left a physio appointment (still working on the ankle) and I wrote my physio to tell him!”

For those wanting to attempt a similar record title, Kate says the best advice she can offer is to try out a solid section of the route first.

She also says not to forget to bring along snacks. 

“I forgot them on my first attempt, and I was so hungry when my first attempt ended early,” said Kate. 

“I bought a box of donuts from Doughnut Plant and went home.”

Kate also says she isn’t done with record breaking and would love to attempt another transit record - maybe even with her dog!

“The Paris metro is only a 3.5-hour train ride away from me,” she said. 

“I would love my dog to break a record. Maybe most flights over the Atlantic – he’s at nine trips, but I am sure someone with a private jet has brought their dog more places.”

For now, though, she is enjoying her most recent achievement, which she credits for assisting her while her ankle was healing.


“I had lost the instinctive ability to go downstairs quickly, or just start sprinting. All these things I used to just do were now tasks that I had to really think about it,” she said. 

“But when I thought I saw my train arriving on a raised track, I just started sprinting – I didn’t think about it. And I ran downstairs to dive on to trains. I was so focused on the attempt, I forgot to worry. And it was really liberating.”

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