A sign error may sit unnoticed for months or years - - it's just an error which does need attention. But what if the error was on TEN signs at a major transportation hub in Queens and sits unnoticed for years while hundreds of employees walk through this station? Yes. Only the MTA and NYC Transt can accomplish this feat and they have done it at the Main Street-Flushing, Queens terminal on the 7 line. This terminal is the home to nearly 2 dozen feeder bus routes, a nearby LIRR station and a very diverse community. 19 million people went through the turnstiles in 2014, making it the 12th busiest station. While I do not have exact figures, about a good 200 to 300 NYCT employees work at this station at any given 24 hour period.
And no NYCT employee saw the mistake on the ten station signs, all of them on both platforms - - one of the bus routes listed on these signs is mistakenly the Q56. The Q56 bus route runs between Downtown Jamaica, and East New York along Jamaica Ave - - that's about 6 miles from Downtown Flushing. The route which NYCT intended was the Q58 which starts on 41st Road, about two blocks south of Main and Roosevelt and runs to Ridgewood at the Brooklyn/Queens line. Here is the YouTube video I took last week where nobody saw something and said something about this goof.
Usually NYCT places a sticker over an existing sign to update subway and/or bus routes - - this is done to save cost of making signs from scratch. Regardless of the method NYCT used, none of the hundreds of employees who worked at this station - - conductors, train operators, station agents, station supervisors, train service supervisors, etc. noticed this mistake as they walked down either platform. Those who are familiar with the Queens bus network, couldn't tell between the Q56 in Jamaica and the Q58 in Flushing. I don't expect every person to be knowledgeable about the bus routes at the Flushing terminal but when some employees who live in the area or take a bus to report at this terminal, and nobody sees this for years (these sticker based signs apparently were installed around 2010 with the Q15A) then there is a total inability for NYCT to correct something. It's unacceptable for station supervisors and mangers to walk around this complex and not report this condition because one of the responsibilities of a station supervisor is to report deficient conditions such as sign errors like the Q56 - - and with ten wrong signs on two station platforms in the same terminal, how could they MISS this??? What if the E/F/M/R transfers were on these ten signs (there are no transfers to other subway lines at this station), would they be overlooked and ignored for years? With NYCT, suspend your disbelief, because it's most likely a yes.
NYCT accomplished the impossible when it comes to ignorance to their own errors.