The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will add new vending machines stocked with personal protective equipment (PPE) later this year at six rail stations across the system.
The vending machines are the latest in a series of amenities and improvements implemented since March to provide customers with a safe and healthy travel environment.
“We understand the need for our customers to have a safe experience during their commutes,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “The addition of these new vending machines is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to seek out tools and resources to help reassure our customers that we are doing everything we can to keep customers healthy during this ongoing pandemic.”
The new vending machines, approved at a Chicago Transit Board meeting, will contain PPE including hand sanitizer, disposable face masks, sanitizing wipes and disposable gloves. These items will range in price from $3.75 to $10. Initially, six vending machines will be placed at the Belmont, Roosevelt and 79th stations on the Red Line, the Midway station on the Orange Line, the Jefferson Park station on the Blue Line and the Kedzie station on the Green Line.
The machines are the latest specialty vending the CTA has offered for customer convenience. Previously, Farmer’s Fridge, MobileQubes and DNP have provided machines offering food items, cell phone battery rentals and photo booths.
The CTA also continues giveaways of free Travel Healthy kits, which include a reusable cloth mask, hand sanitizer and healthy travel tips. More than 14,000 kits have been distributed across the system since summer and further distribution events are planned later this year.
The PPE vendor, Canteen, will install and operate the machines. Canteen is the largest vending operator in the Chicagoland area and the current vendor for food vending machines at all CTA employee locations. The company recently added PPE vending into its portfolio at the start of the pandemic and currently has PPE vending machines in Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) stations in New York. The company also has food and beverage machines on Metra and Amtrak.