From the NY Times:
The signage of the New York City subway — stylish Helvetica, white-on-black type — is one of the most universally recognized design schemes in the world. By June 28, quite a bit of it will need to change.
On that Monday, disappearing trains (goodbye, W) and redrawn routes will render thousands of existing signs and maps throughout the system obsolete, a hidden cost of the drastic service cuts brought on by the subway’s budget problems.
To avoid chaos, New York City Transit must replace some 3,000 signs and 25,000 maps, all to be switched out within the span of about two weeks before the service changes take effect.
That task requires the biggest overhaul since service over the Manhattan Bridge was restored more than six years ago, juggling the Midtown subway routes.
John Montemarano, director of the station signage division for 15 years, said: “We make sure our customers can wake up on June 28 and figure out how the hell to get around.”
The replacements range in size and price. A small vinyl M decal, newly orange, may cost the agency about $25 to produce. A giant porcelain sign, like “42 St — Times Square,” costs about $300 to make.
All told, the cost of the new signs and maps is expected to reach about $800,000. Some of that money was already budgeted, the agency said, since new maps are printed every year.
All traces of the V and W trains, two of this year’s casualties, must be struck from the system, while decals for the rerouted M line — it will head north on Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, replacing the V — must be added to signs and entrances at dozens of stations.
Even more minor changes require dozens of replacements. The Q line, for instance, will now terminate in Queens, not Midtown Manhattan, which means every station along its route must advertise “Q to Astoria” rather than the current “57 St — 7 Av.”