As an avid student of all things New York two very different stories that focus on the city’s sprawling subway system caught my eye in recent days.

Matthew Ahn set a new record for the fastest time to travel to all 468 New York City subway stations – 21 hours, 28 minutes and 14 seconds –  a feat commonly known as the Subway Challenge.  The New York Times rode along with him for his record-breaking trip.

One of the voices Matthew likely heard a multitude of times in his record-breaking race was the firm but friendly male voice whose recorded safety announcements are heard throughout the entire subway system making it the most recognizable voice in New York City even if the face and name behind that voice aren’t as well known. Until now, that is.