Via Jens Schott Knudsen on Flickr
The magazine-stuffed and candy-filled newsstands found across New York City’s subway system may soon be a thing of the past. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it will replace some of the old-school booths with high-tech vending machines, the Daily News reported on Monday. The move comes as the cash-strapped MTA struggles to fill vacant newsstands, with 40 percent of 326 retail spots on the agency’s property empty or closed.
The vending machines will offer riders on-the-go snacks and travel-sized toiletries, Janno Lieber, the MTA’s chief development officer, told the News.
Currently, 86 vacant spots are out to bid, some of which may become vending machines. “There were a lot of stations that were frankly empty,” Lieber said.
The MTA has not released the number of stations that will get vending machines as it will be decided by consumer interest. The agency has 27 retail spaces in the process of opening, according to the newspaper.
The vending machines would not be the first attempt by the MTA to modernize its underground retail spaces. In 2015, the agency signed a 10-year contract with a start-up to operate newsstands in Union Square, Columbus Circle, and Brookfield Place that sell snacks but also more millennial-friendly goods like bike helmets and fresh-squeezed juice.
[Via NY Daily News]
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