Photo by Adam S.

Around 3:30 this morning a reader spotted this subway car covered with some fresh elaborate graffiti on the side—a familiar sight decades ago, but a somewhat rare phenomenon these days. The tagged car was rolling through the Metropolitan Avenue station in Middle Village, Queens at the time.

Adam Lisberg at the MTA told us this morning, "It doesn’t happen often—we’re vicious about taking cars out of service as soon as graffiti is discovered." He added that a train in this condition likely wouldn't even make a single journey, and would be sent straight to a terminal for cleaning. Which seems to have been the fate of this one. Lisberg did some digging and found out that "this car came straight from the yard to start a run from Metropolitan Avenue, and when they saw it had been marked like this, they immediately took it back out of service. So it never traveled to a single station stop, and never carried a single customer."

He added that their security forces are looking for the perpetrator... Vandal Squad Style!

In January another tag was spotted on a car, and at the time Gothamist in-house graffiti expert Jake Dobkin believed it may have been the work of foreigners: "Europeans do love to come to NYC and try to get up on a train. Most New York writers don't, because they know how quickly the trains will get buffed."