The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is deploying a dozen vending machines at 10 subway stations across New York, allowing customers to buy Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE). The new machines are part of a pilot program of 12 machines in 10 locations that will offer reusable face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes.
“The national increase in Covid-19 cases shows how important it is for us to maintain vigilance on use of masks and other PPE,” said Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of MTA New York City Transit. “We want to make it as easy as possible for customers who may not have masks to get them so they can ride the subway. Wearing a mask is the single most important thing our customers can do to protect themselves and those around them – and more than that, it’s absolutely required to ride the system.”
The vending machines are of two types. Eight machines are being installed and stocked by Canteen, a division of the Compass Group, a food services company. These machines were built by Vengo, a manufacturer of retail vending machines. Four machines are branded as “Simply” and are being installed and stocked by vending machine company Swyft.
The MTA is also distributing hand sanitizer at every station as well as two million single-use surgical masks to customers at station booths thanks to donations from the State of New York and City of New York.
On June 23, ridership on the subway system surpassed one million for the first time since March.