MTA Metro-North Railroad is opening a third ticket vending machine center in Grand Central Terminal, adding nine machines to increase customer convenience, especially on the busiest days.
The new center, formerly a Hudson Newsstand, houses nine full-service TVMs, bringing to 37 the number of TVMs available in Grand Central. The new center officially opens on September 1. It is located at the west end of the terminal, to the right of the line of ticket windows and across from the room of Chase Bank ATMs.
“The new TVMs will be particularly welcome during peak travel periods, such as Friday afternoons in summer, holiday getaway times, and special events, including Yankees games,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “The machines are fast and simple to use and we hope they will improve the customer experience.”
In addition to the new machines, there are 10 TVMs at the Track 32 vending center, nine at the east side vending center east of the Main Concourse near the Swatch store, four in Grand Central North, two on the Lower Level and one in the Hyatt Passageway.
All the new TVMs are equipped with “smart card” technology.
This “contactless payment” style uses a credit or debit card with an integrated circuit card, or chip, imbedded in it. Customers with smart cards merely tap the card on the reader or target, which is conveniently located beneath the touchscreen. This technology is easy to use and is very secure for ticket buyers making electronic payments. Cash as well as traditional magnetic swipe cards also are accepted.
In the coming months, Metro-North will be adding a new smart card TVM at New Haven, Stamford, White Plains, and Harlem-125th Street, Poughkeepsie, Croton -Harmon, Westport and Fairfield. And there are three at the new West Haven station that opened August 19.
Since Metro-North first introduced TVMs in 1987, customers have gravitated to the easy-to-use machines. TVMs now account for 70% of Metro-North’s 30 million tickets sold each year (60% of ticket sales by revenue).
The purchase of 28 machines, 20 for Metro-North and eight for the Long Island Rail Road, was a joint procurement. The machines were manufactured by Scheidt & Bachmann.