Get Your Piece Of Transit History
NYC Transit offers not only a large inventory of surplus and used materials to the public, but also nostalgic memorabilia items that are a collector's dream. The Memorabilia & Collectible program started in 2003 with only a few items and has grown significantly over the years.
Many New Yorkers are aware that NYC Transit has participated in an artificial reef program, sending retired subway cars to the bottom of the ocean all along the east coast that have served as habitats for all sorts of marine life. The program has been an inexpensive way to dispose of the than retired 1,200 cars.
But what most folks don't know is that once a subway car is designated to be reefed, it is stripped — everything from doors, lighting fixtures, signs, seats, poles, grab holds, even master controls are removed and made available for sale to collectors and the general public.
After the memorabilia items are removed from the subway cars, NYC Transit's Asset Recovery unit stores them in a warehouse where the items are photographed and catalogued for advertising on the MTA's Memorabilia &Collectibles website.
But there's more — items for sale are not limited to subway materials. Customers can also purchase subway station signs, vintage tokens, and so much more. The items are sold as singles or as lots.
Asset Recovery also gathers requests provided from customer emails and phone calls and works to acquire the memorabilia items as they become available, usually through station rehabs and the continued gradual retirement of older subway car fleets. Memorabilia and collectible items are predominantly harvested from the Redbirds and the lettered subway lines.
Some of the most popular items sold in 2009 were the MTA logo, maps, stanchion poles and doors. All memorabilia and collectible items come with a Certificate of Authenticity (except for Vintage Tokens). Additionally, there is a large catalog of surplus materials — bus parts from retired buses, tools, electrical items, and office equipment — all for sale at discounted prices.
NYC Transit has been offering these and other collectible and surplus items for preview via its @NYCTBusStop Twitter feed during its "#SurplusTues" segment. Since the segments began in November, more than 1,278 followers have clicked on the Asset Recovery website link provided each Surplus Tuesday.
To browse through the current catalog of items, visit www.mta.info/nyct/materiel/index.html where you can also place an order. If you would like to be placed on the mailing list, please email your name, address, and the type of item you are interested in to firstname.lastname@example.org. Customers on the mailing list are notified when new items are added to the inventory. Happy shopping!