Check out the PPE vending machines that just arrived in NYC subway stations

July 1, 2020

All photos: Marc Herman / MTA NYC Transit on Flickr

As of yesterday, the MTA rolled out 12 PPE vending machines in 10 busy subway stations. The machines, which offer reusable face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes, were installed as part of the MTA’s larger effort to keep subways sanitized and safe during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

NYC subway, PPE vending machine

NYC subway, PPE vending machinePhotos of the Vengo machines: Marc Herman/MTA NYC Transit on Flickr

“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.”

Eight of the machines, the more compact of the two, were built by Vengo, which manufactures what it calls ” high-tech, compact, wall-mountable” retail vending machines.

NYC subway, PPE vending machine

NYC subway, PPE vending machinePhotos of the Swiftly machines: Marc Herman/MTA NYC Transit on Flickr

The other four machines, called Swiftly, are a bit larger and were installed by AI-driven vending machine company Swyft.

The prices for both machines will be the same and are as follows:

  • 10-pack of disposable masks: $12.49
  • Reusable cloth masks: $5.99
  • KN95 masks: $9.99
  • Wipes: $2.25
  • Single-use hand sanitizer: 75 cents
  • 2-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer: $4.99
  • Kits including a mask, wipes, and gloves: $6.49

The 12 machines are at these 10 locations:

  • 14 St-Union Square: 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, W
  • 34 St-Herald Square (two machines): B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, W
  • 34 St-Penn Station: 1, 2, 3
  • 34 St-Penn Station: A, C, E
  • 42 St-Port Authority Bus Terminal: A, C, E
  • 42 St-Times Square (two machines): 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, W, S
  • 59 St-Columbus Circle: 1, A, C, B, D
  • 74 St-Roosevelt Av: 7, E, F, M, R
  • Atlantic Av-Barclays Center: 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, Q, R
  • Lexington Av: E, M

Demonstration of UV disinfection technology at Corona Maintenace Facility; Photo Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr

Face masks are required for all those using the subway and bus system. Other COVID-related measures the MTA has taken include adding social-distancing markers on station platforms, shutting down the system daily from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to disinfect cars, which includes a new UV light program, and installing barriers on all city buses.

On Tuesday, June 23, subway ridership hit 1,047,493, the first time it passed the million mark since March. This represents about 19 percent of the regular pre-pandemic subway ridership of more than 5.4 million people. Ridership was at it lowest on Monday, April 13, with just 365,835 riders.

Face mask vending machines have been popping up elsewhere around the city, too, in Midtown and on the Lower East Side.


All photos: Marc Herman/MTA NYC Transit, via Flickr

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