MTA Unveils PPE Vending Machines Across Subway System

WCBS 880 Newsroom
June 30, 2020 - 1:07 pm

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    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The MTA on Tuesday unveiled a dozen vending machines at various subway stations offering COVID-19 personal protective equipment.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo has mandated all MTA customers must wear a face mask on the buses and subways.

    As more and more people return to the subway system as New York City continues to progress through the phased reopening process, the MTA has taken steps to ensure all customers have access to PPE before they board.

    “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 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.”

    She stresses that “wearing a mask is the single most important thing our customers can do to protect themselves and those around them.”

    The vending machines will be found at 10 stations across the city. 

    They are:

    • 14 St-Union Square 
    • 34 St-Herald Square 
    • 34 St-Penn Station 
    • 34 St-Penn Station 
    • 42 St-Port Authority Bus Terminal 
    • 42 St-Times Square 
    • 59 St-Columbus Circle 
    • 74 St-Roosevelt Av 
    • Atlantic Av-Barclays Center 
    • Lexington Av 

    There are two types of vending machines, one that resembles a MetroCard refill station and another that resembles a beverage vending machine. They will be operated and stocked by Canteen, a division of Compass Group, and Swyft, a vending machine company.

    One commuter says she likes the idea of the vending machines, but has concerns.

    “I just hope it’s affordable for people who are sort of struggling during this time,” she said.

    WCBS 880’s Kristie Keleshian reports prices for products will vary. Hand sanitizer and masks range from $9.99 to $11.99, while PPE kits that have masks, gloves and hand sanitizer cost up to $39.99. 

    Others say it just sounds like the MTA is trying to make a profit, while masks are more easily available now at a cheaper price.

    The MTA is also distributing hand sanitizer at every station as well as 2 million single-use surgical masks to customers at station booths thanks to donations from the state and city. 

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