Sign of the times: NJ Transit completes installation of first PPE vending machines

A single-use, 3-ply disposable mask for $1. Or a 10-pack of KN95 masks for $25. Your choice — but this much is clear: These are not the vending machines of years gone by.

Or even January.

New Jersey Transit, saying it’s an additional measure to protect customers and employees from the spread of COVID-19, began installing vending machines that sell personal protective equipment on a trial basis over Labor Day weekend.

The vending machines, which sell items such as face masks, hand sanitizer, sanitized wipes and disposable gloves, were installed at Newark Penn Station and Hoboken Terminal.

Similar vending machines will be installed at other select stations over the coming weeks, including Summit, Secaucus Junction, Metropark, Trenton Transit Center and New Brunswick.

The machines will accept cash or credit cards. They will be maintained and stocked by a third-party vendor and will remain at least through the end of the year.

NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett said the machines are about keeping people safe — especially during the fall, when NJ Transit expects an increase in ridership.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, NJ Transit has taken extraordinary measures to provide the safest possible travel environment for our customers and employees, and these new PPE vending machines serve as yet another example of our ongoing efforts,” he said in a statement.

“We want our customers to trust that we have prepared the safest and cleanest transit system possible for their return and will continue to work hard every day to keep it that way.”