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College Students Build Subway Charity Vender

Posted On: 12/30/2011

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New York University student inventors, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York subway, Metrocard, vending, vending machine, charity vending, automated retailing, kiosk

NEW YORK CITY -- Students in New York University's telecommunications program have engineered a card reader that would let riders of the city's buses and subway trains donate value remaining on their Metrocards to charity.

The kiosk reportedly uses a magnetic stripe reader and controller that deducts the unused amount from the card and relays it to a special charitable fund. The students, who built the machine using an old tape cassette deck, are hoping to capture some percentage of the estimated $52 million that goes unclaimed during the year.

If approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the kiosks would represent the first independent vending machines in the New York subway system in decades.