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High school students visited all ferry stops in New York in 7 hours: they were included in the Guinness Book of Records


Alina Prikhodko

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Three ambitious high school students from Rye Country Day School in Rye, New York, set up new Guinness world record for the fastest access to all New York City ferry stops. According to Silive, the students wanted to raise awareness of the benefits of New York City's ferry system and its role in improving transportation accessibility.

NYC Ferry is a public ferry network in New York City operated by Hornblower Cruises. As of August 2023, there are six permanent routes, as well as one seasonal route, connecting 25 ferry terminals in all five boroughs.

Ayush Maini, Eva Salzman and Olivia Thomas set off on the journey on August 28, 2023, and on January 12, 2024, their figure was included in the Guinness Book of Records: it was 7 hours, 19 minutes and 9 seconds. He surpassed the previous achievement by almost half an hour, or rather by 28 minutes.

The carefully planned route spans more than four miles (6,5 km) and spans all five boroughs from the Rockaway stop to the St. George ferry stop.

“Like our attempt to set a record, improving public transport is a collective effort. It's not about breaking records, it's about overcoming barriers and obstacles together,” said Maini, who led the trek. “Just as every delay and obstacle made us stronger, every obstacle in transit development can be overcome with shared determination.”

Trek mission

Throughout the journey, Maini, of Queens, SoHo resident Saltzman, and Thomas, of Yonkers, sought to highlight the benefits of New York City's ferry system, as well as its role in improving accessibility, community engagement, and affordable transportation.

On the subject: A New Yorker swam around Staten Island in the shortest possible time: he already holds 9 Guinness records

Their advocacy, while encouraging different approaches to eco-friendly options, extends to recognizing the urgent need to combat climate change and reduce dependence on cars.

“New Yorkers have unprecedented levels of access to careers, education and entertainment,” Maini said. “By using our city's resources, we can bring communities together and create access to these new opportunities.”

The three friends see ferry systems as a potential solution to bridging transit deserts by providing vital connections for underserved communities. Their broader advocacy aims to expand public transport networks, including ferry services, to create a fairer transport landscape in which all people have equal opportunities for employment, education, health and recreation.

Not just New York

Maini said he intends to continue breaking world transit records to continue his advocacy work. He is exploring the possibility of holding similar events in nine cities in the United States and Canada.

Towards the end of the race, having raced across the city and through the labyrinth of flights of stairs of the New York subway, the team missed an important, long-awaited connection that could have significantly affected the record time. Reflecting on this demoralizing failure, Maini noted, “As I embarked on this journey, I was struck by the overwhelming support from everyday New Yorkers.”

“Although my associates and I are the Guinness World Record holders, the record belongs to all the volunteers, activists and politicians who work tirelessly to improve public transport and save the environment. We commend their efforts and support everyone in striving for a brighter, greener tomorrow.”

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