Better Signs

We've all been through it. We enter the subway late at night or over the weekend only to discover that our train will not be traveling to the destination we expect it to. Looking for subway service change notices, we are confronted by a wall of jumbled posters that just leave us scratching our heads. As a result, MTA New York City Transit is rolling out newly designed signs and posters aimed at taking the confusion out of your weekend or late-night train trip.

It's all part of a major effort to better inform customers about planned subway service changes necessitated by capital construction and maintenance work in a more clear and concise manner. There will also be a focus on the consistent placement of these materials which, among other improvements, will alert customers to system reroutes before they swipe their MetroCards.

There's a fresh, new look to planned subway service reroute communications that will appear in subway stations starting the week of September 13th. Specifically, customers will begin noticing newly designed weekend and weekday comprehensive signs on Thursday, September 16th and Friday, September 17th, respectively.

"We are out there on nights and weekends performing the vital work necessary to keep the New York City subway operating safely and efficiently," said NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. "Performing that work, however, is no excuse for forcing our customers to hunt for service information. With these new designs, we are giving riders the information they need in a format they will understand."

NYC Transit performed market research to determine how customers wanted this vital travel information presented. Customers appreciated the elimination of clutter, having all system changes available on a one-sheet format, separate postings for weekday and weekend changes and the clean, bright appearance of the posters themselves.


  • What's new on Weekday and Weekend directories:
    • Easy-to-find, clearly marked locations in stations -; both before and after you pay your fare
    • Comprehensive listing of all subway reroutes in the system
    • Large subway route icons in color
    • Icons (sun and moon) plus colors highlight period of day
    • Quick facts provide time, day and dates of reroutes, brief descriptions of reroutes plus alternative travel options
  • What's new on the station-specific signs:
    • Clear representation of when and where reroutes impact service
    • Larger type for easier reading
    • Map visuals to aid in the understanding of complicated service reroutes.


If there is no service at the station or service is being provided by shuttle buses, new signage will be posted at street level entrances. At station complexes, signs will also be posted close to turnstiles to alert customers if a particular line is not in operation. Signs will also be placed on the columns at platform levels to let customers know they are in the right place to catch the train. Finally, when a reroute is particularly complicated or will be in effect long-term, signs will be posted in train cars.

The new effort takes advantage of existing internal database systems which translate these changes to service for travel information on the web and telephone; the use of the same database system for external communications now provides customers with consistent and timely information about upcoming changes to subway service.

Look out for these new service notices, which will begin appearing soon.