New York City Transit

Supporting NYCT with cleaning and disinfection of subway cars and buses, including the use of ultraviolet (UV) light.

New York City Transit (NYCT) | USA | 2020-ongoing

The New York Subway fleet collectively travels over 365 million miles per year
Each day in New York City, over five million people travel by subway, and over two million by bus.

Challenges

  • Hiring and deploying third-party contractors to clean and disinfect the interiors and touch surfaces of subway cars and buses.
  • Developing first-hand knowledge of equipment, products, and labor techniques.
  • Identifying the best practices for implementing a COVID-19 mitigation program in a dense urban environment with minimal effects on daily operations.
  • Developing a protocol for overseeing pre- and post-cleaning testing of the interiors of subway cars and buses to assess bacterial loads.

Solutions

  • Designed and oversaw pilot programs for short-listed firms to determine third-party contractors that could perform the work in the most efficient and contract-compliant manner.
  • Assisted with the assessment of new technologies aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on both rail and bus vehicles.
  • Reviewed contractor submittals for ultraviolet, antimicrobial, biocidal, photocatalytic oxidation, and other technologies that had never before been used in the transportation industry.
  • Researched products and methods for cleaning and disinfection on various types of surfaces.
  • Implemented an ultraviolet (UV) light pilot program that was effectively used in the disinfection process.
  • Provided guidance and recommendations to NYCT on testing and validation measures.

Highlights

  • The cleaning and disinfection efforts have succeeded as studies and reports have found those who ride New York City’s subways and buses are at low risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Swab tests on the vehicles continue to show a reduction of the viral load to near zero.
  • Monitoring and managing the cleaning and disinfection processes continues to assure ridership that the transit system is safe.

Project numbers


The Metropolitan Transportation Department (MTA) is North America's largest transportation network, serving a population of 15.3 million.
The MTA operates over 6,000 subway cars and nearly 6,000 buses.
MTA purchased 150 UV light units in May 2020 at a total cost of $1 million.
As of November 2020, according to MTA data, the agency had spent at least $371 million on the COVID-19 pandemic, including $124 million to disinfect train cars at end-of-line terminals, and another $69 million to wipe down subway stations.

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