Starting today, you will come across vending machines in the New York City subway selling PPE equipment for transit-goers like masks, hand sanitizers, gloves, and sanitizing wipes. There are two different types of machines, both with touch screen ordering. This initiative, run by private vendors, is in addition to the hand sanitizer the MTA distributing at every station and the 2 million single-use surgical masks customers can grab at station booths — available through donations from the State of New York and City of New York.
So far, there are twelve vending machines in 10 subway stations: 14th St-Union Square, 34th St-Herald Square, both stations at 34 St-Penn Station, 42nd St-Port Authority Bus Terminal, 42nd St-Times Square, 59th Street-Columbus Circle, 74 St-Roosevelt Ave, Atlantic Av-Barclays Center, and Lexington Av.
Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of MTA New York City Transit says “The national increase in Covid-19 cases shows how important it is for us to maintain vigilance on use of masks and other PPE. 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.”
There are two types of vending machines — eight futuristic looking machines made by the vending machine manufacturer Vengo and stocked by Canteen (a division of the Compass Group), and four of a larger, more traditional vending machine shapeshowing the products through a glass window branded as Simply, and installed and stocked by the vending machine company Swyft. In both, you can pay by credit card. The Simply machines sell the KN-95 masks at $5 each and can be bought in packs of 3, 5, and 10.The Vengo machines also have instructions on how to put on your mask.
Next, spot the adorable animal footprints that have also appeared in the subway.