Vending machines being tested as replacements for newsstands in NYC subway

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Several subway stations across New York City will test out replacing their traditional newsstands with high-tech vending machines.

This summer, vending machines will replace the classic newsstands at eight stations in the city.

The MTA says it had trouble filling vacant newsstands in recent years and they are not doing the same kind of business they once did.

The machines will offer products such as travel-sized toiletries, ear buds, phone chargers and on-the-go snacks.

"The vending machines are high-tech, narrow in profile, low-impact in terms of the space they take and it's part of recognizing we're in a new era in terms of what our passengers want," MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber said.

Of the 326 retail locations on MTA property, about 40 percent are shuttered or vacant. Some of the retail locations on platforms may be reduced in size to accommodate all the riders and others may be removed completely to allow for a safer platform.

The MTA will also focus on more traditional retail plus pop-up shops and markets like Turnstyle at Columbus Circle which features a collection of stores, food and stands in what was once unused space.

"We're looking for more of those opportunities so you can bring more of the energy of NYC street retail down to the subway system," Lieber said.

Many hope those opportunities will bring in more revenue for a struggling transit system.

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