More evidence the MTA is preparing to launch the long-awaited Second Avenue subway line. NY1 transit reporter Jose Martinez got an inside look at the Brooklyn shop where they have begun making new subway signs.
These are busy days at the MTA's sign shop in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
The countdown has begun for the long-awaited Second Avenue subway, and the MTA's sign-makers are getting ready.
Cranking out signs like this one, which will direct riders to the new line.
"We have to make sure everybody knows where the new trains are going, right?" said Marc Lussier. "Basically, we don't want anyone getting lost in the system."
Subway riders are already seeing evidence of the new service.
These are signs for the W train, which is set to return the day before Election Day, running from Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, Queens to Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan.
"We're talking about stations in Brooklyn, all the way down to Bay Ridge and out to Coney Island, all the way up to Astoria," said John Kern. "So, about 80 different stations total are affected, and 1,300 different signs within the signs will need to be changed."
The W Train will replace the Q line in Queens.
When the Second Avenue line opens, with three stops on the Upper East Side, it will become the northern end of Q service. Second Avenue service is supposed to kick off by the end of the year.
Workers have been installing the new signage late at night, one of their busiest stretches in years.
"We'll go station to station," Kern said. "Our guys will jump out of the train with the signs, get the ladders, put them up, install them, jump back in the train and move to the next station."
The signs feature the MTA's familiar Helvetica typeface and leave next to no room for error.
With strict standards in place for every spot on the sign, the workers here say that precision is everything.
"We know when we're doing a good job when we cannot tell the difference between the sign that I made or one that my coworkers made," said one.
While the Second Avenue Subway has been planned for decades, the planning for the new signs has gone on for most of the last year, something that may escape riders' attention.
"I think they think it magically appears the next day after the line changes," Lussier said.
And starting November 7, the W reappears, just as the Q disappears from Queens.