The “L Challenge” — passing through all of the CTA’s 144 rail stations in one day — has now caught the attention of CTA President Forrest Claypool. On Tuesday he honored three young CTA riders who recently completed the challenge by giving mock station signs.
CTA Tattler recounted the journey by honorees Andrew Karas, Grace Flaherty and Ryan Faucher. Karas was the leader. “Andrew is not alone in his interest in the CTA and the region’s mass transit systems, but, along with Grace and Ryan, he did something not many people in the nation have done,” said Claypool. “I am pleased to recognize them for such a unique accomplishment and am also excited to hear the young people’s thoughts about the CTA.”
Karas is a recent graduate of Lyons Township High School and spent his senior year taking a self-designed independent study about worldwide transit systems. This study culminated in a research report regarding the history of railroads and development in Chicagoland, including a fantasy plan for transit improvements in the region. At Tuesday’s meeting, Karas presented his report to Claypool. CTA Tattler has asked Karas for that report.
“Today’s recognition of Karas’ and Flaherty’s effort is part of the CTA’s effort to acknowledge riders who engage Chicago’s bus and rail transit system in unique and constructive ways,” according to a press release.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Adham Fisher, who inspired Karas. Fisher is a British rail enthusiast who has completed the London Tube Challenge. Fisher came to Chicago in March to complete the L Challenge, something he did in 9 hours and 36 minutes. Of course, Adham doesn’t live here, so couldn’t make it Tuesday’s event, though the CTA did reach out to him about it.