July 1, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
The MTA has rolled out vending machines across select city subway stations that dispense COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE).
The new machines offers face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes.
There are 10 machines in Manhattan and just one machine in both Queens and Brooklyn.
The agency wants to keep subway riders safe by making it easy to access PPE, Sarah Feinberg, MTA Interim President said in a statement Tuesday.
“Wearing a mask is the single most important thing our customers can do to protect themselves and those around them,” Feinberg said.
“And more than that, it’s absolutely required to ride the system,” she said.
Feinberg said that an uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country underlines the need for subway riders to continue to use PPE.
The move by the MTA is part of a pilot program whereby 12 machines have been put down at 10 different subway stations.
Queens has only been allocated one machine despite being the hardest hit borough. The latest data shows that the borough is now up to 5,837 deaths and 64,708 positive cases of COVID-19 .
The only Queens PPE vending machine is located at the 74th St-Roosevelt Avenue station which services the 7, E, F, M, and R trains.
Brooklyn, the second hardest-hit borough, received one machine at the Atlantic Av-Barclays Center station.
The 10 remaining machines will be at Manhattan stops.
Times Square 42nd St. station and 34th St. Herald Square station have both received two machines each.
One machine has been put down at each of the following stations; 14th Street Union Square station; 34th St. Penn station (1,2,3); 34th St. Penn station (A, C, E); 42 St. Port Authority bus terminal; 59th St. Columbus Circle station; and at Lexington Av/51st St. station.
The MTA is using two different types of machines to dispense the PPE. One type is stocked by food services company Canteen and the other is being stocked by the Swyft vending machine company. The 74th St-Roosevelt Avenue station has a Swyft stocked machine.
The machines offer 10-pack disposable masks for $12.49, reusable cloth masks for $5.99, and KN95 masks $9.99.
Wipes can be purchased for $2.25, single-use hand sanitizer costs 75 cents and a two-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer costs $4.99.
A combo kit containing a mask, wipes, and gloves costs $6.49.
The MTA is also distributing hand sanitizer made in NY state prisons at every station as well as 2 million single-use surgical masks to customers at station booths for free.