List of unused or defunct New York City Subway services

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) does not use some letters and numbers to identify routes on the New York City Subway.

Unused letters[change | change source]

  • The letter I on a black circle: the letter I could be confused with Line 1.
  • The letter O on a black circle: the letter O could be confused with the number 0, which the MTA uses to help their computers recognize the 42nd Street Shuttle.
  • The letter P on a black circle: the letter P could sound funny or rude, because it sounds like the word “pee”.
  • The letter U on a black circle: the letter U could be confused with with the word “you”.
  • The letter Y on a black circle: the letter Y could be confused with with the word “why”.

Internal numbers and letters[change | change source]

The MTA privately (or internally) uses the number 0 and the letter H, to help their computers recognize the three separate shuttles. The three shuttles use the letter S on maps and posters, and this can confuse computers.

Reserved letters[change | change source]

The MTA reserves the letters T and X to identify the services that they want to build or run in the future.

  • The letter T on a sky blue circle: the letter T represents a service that the MTA plans to run, when they finish building the Second Avenue Subway.
  • The letter X on a black circle: the letter X represents a service that the MTA plans to run in the future, but have not decided on what number or letter to use.

Defunct letters and numbers[change | change source]

  • The number 8 on a sky blue circle: the number 8 used to represent trains that ran on the IRT Third Avenue Line. Line 8 stopped running on April 28, 1973, when the MTA closed the Third Avenue Line.
  • The number 9 on a red circle: the number 9 used to represent trains that made fewer stops along the same route as Line 1. Line 9 stopped running on May 27, 2005, because it caused riders to wait too long for other trains on the IRT Broadway - Seventh Avenue Line.
  • The letter K on a blue circle: the letter K used to represent trains that ran via the IND Eighth Avenue Line, between 168th Street and World Trade Center. Line K stopped running on December 11, 1988.
  • The letter V on an orange circle: the letter V used to represent trains that ran via the IND Sixth Avenue Line, between Forest Hills–71st Avenue and Lower East Side–Second Avenue. Line V stopped running on June 25, 2010, because the MTA did not have enough money to operate the service.

Unused or defunct letters and numbers on trains[change | change source]

  • The number 8 on a green circleThe number 10 on a green circleThe number 11 on a purple circleThe number 12 on a green circleThe number 13 on a red circle: Trains of the R62 and R62A type can display the numbers 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13. When the trains first entered service, the MTA was thinking of replacing diamond-shaped symbols with separate numbers to represent fast trains.
  • The letter P on a black circleThe letter T on a black circleThe letter U on a black circleThe letter X on a black circleThe letter Y on a black circle: Trains of the R32 and R32A type can display the letters P, T, U, X, and Y. The extra letters allow the MTA to use any of those letters for a special service, during an emergency.

Trains of the R142, R143, R160, R179 and R188 types use digital displays, meaning that they can easily display any service number or letter.