MTA’s Metro-North Railroad has reconfigured vending machines at 12 stations throughout the system to allow customers to purchase items of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as KN95 masks, bottled hand sanitizer, and gloves. Free masks and hand sanitizer are still being distributed at stations and on trains for any rider that needs.
The move is the latest in a series of measures Metro-North has taken to ensure customer and employee safety during the pandemic. Metro-North Railroad continues with its most aggressive cleaning regimen in the agency’s history by daily disinfecting and cleaning trains cars at least once a day and stations at least twice daily. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Metro-North stations have been cleaned more than 30,500 times and trains cars more than 50,600 times. Metro-North has installed touchless hand sanitizer dispensers at stations for customers and employees to access. Masks are also stored on all trains in the event a person boards without one.
The vending machines are stocked by Canteen, a division of the Compass Group USA, and were built by Vengo, a manufacturer of retail vending machines. The products range from single use hand sanitizer for $0.75 to premium KN95 masks for $9.99.
Metro-North Railroad is working with Canteen to identify additional locations to add more vending machines at stations soon, including Metro-North’s West of Hudson stations.
The launch follows an announcement made on June 30 that the MTA is deploying a dozen vending machines at 10 subway stations as part of a pilot program allowing customers to buy PPE, including reusable face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes.