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Uptown Trains sign in the NYC subway
ShutterstockUptown Trains sign in the NYC subway

Get your hands on MTA memorabilia during this collectibles sale

We've got our eyes on those vintage train tokens!

Written by
Christina Izzo

Geek out over NYC subway culture? (Guilty!) Now you can have a piece of New York transit history for yourself thanks to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s memorabilia and collectibles sales. 

RECOMMENDED: Locals say NYC has one of the best public transportation systems in the world

Each item in the sale comes with a certificate of authenticity, so you know that it’s legit, and includes stuff like station signs, vintage train tokens, subway seating and even destination signs from retired subway cars, like the historic “Redbirds” and “Brightliners” trains.

At the time of publication, you could purchase strip maps (you know, those long ’n skinny ones found overhead inside the train car?) for the 2 train and M train at $100 a pop, real-deal grab holds for $25 and subway poles for $75 (why you would want a pole in your home is your own business), and aluminum signage for a variety of stations (in case you want to represent your go-to stop) as well as garden-variety “Exit” and “No Entry” signs. Pricing for those range from $100 to a whopping $2,500 each, with a premium on stations like Chambers St - World Trade Center and Pennsylvania Avenue. 

A cheaper investment are those old subway tokens, which go for up to five bucks, including the classic Y-cut tokens and the special-fare solid silver coins. But if you’re really invested in New York transportation, you can even swap out some seating in your home for an authentic subway seat, complete with the “Priority Seating” plaque, for 600 big ones. There’s even a “Refuse Canister,” which is just a fancy phrase for a used trash can, priced at—brace yourselves—$325. 

Maybe if the MTA sells enough bits and bobbles from its nearly 120-year history, it won’t have to raise those fares, huh? (FYI, on May 22, 2023, MTA officials announced a proposed increase that will raise base subway and bus fares to $2.90—a 5% hike over the current $2.75 price per ride.) Keep buying those vintage tokens, folks!

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