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NJ TRANSIT EXPLORES USE OF ULTRAVIOLET TECHNOLOGY IN BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19

Study with Rutgers University will Examine Effectiveness of UVC Light to Disinfect Buses

For immediate release: June 22, 2020

 

NEWARK, NJ – NJ TRANSIT has commissioned a study by Rutgers University’s Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) on the use of ultraviolet-c (UVC) for disinfecting the agency’s bus fleet from viruses such as COVID-19.  The effort continues NJ TRANSIT's commitment to investigating and deploying the latest technology and best practices to provide a clean and safe environment for all customers and employees.  

“NJ TRANSIT is always looking to be on the cutting edge of technology,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett.  “As we prepare for our customers’ return to the system, it is incumbent upon us to explore every cleaning and disinfecting option available. NJ TRANSIT will continue to take any and all measures to ensure the safest and cleanest transit environment possible for our customers and employees.”

The study, to be conducted over the next few months, will include examining the effectiveness of the UVC wavelength in killing viruses as well as electronically mapping the interior of different bus models to determine the best placement for the UVC source.  The findings would be used to determine the best way to scale and implement the technology on the bus fleet.

Ultraviolet light in the germicidal range (200-280 nm light) known as “UVC” has proven to be effective at disinfecting water and surfaces; and may help reduce the risk of infection due to COVID-19 virus. UVC light energy is not the same as the UVA and UVB light wavelengths found in exposure to sunlight.  UVC disinfection would not be used when customers are on board.

NJ TRANSIT’s RESPONSE TO COVID-19

NJ TRANSIT continues enhanced cleaning efforts to include disinfecting vehicles every 24 hours. Hard surface cleaning and disinfecting typically includes handholds, arm rests, seating areas and restrooms.

Our enhanced cleaning regimen in stations includes additional disinfecting of frequent customer touchpoints such as ticket vending machines, handrails, door handles. In major stations and terminals, this occurs once every shift.

The cleaning agents used in this effort are deemed effective for these purposes and contain anti-viral components such as bleach/water mixes and other disinfectant sprays. Areas regularly cleaned include doors, door knobs, windows, benches, partitions, trash cans, elevators, escalators, handrails, ledges, and all restrooms and floor surfaces. 

NJ TRANSIT has a dedicated web page offering a centralized location to highlight the many initiatives the agency has undertaken to protect customers and employees against COVID-19 as the reopening of New Jersey and the region continues. The web page, njtransit.com/recovery, is available on both desktop and through the mobile app, and contains a link to the new Recovery Guidelines for viewing and downloading.

In addition to outlining the steps the agency has taken, the website also includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. Posters reminding customers of best-practices to prevent the spread of germs have been installed on NJ TRANSIT vehicles throughout the system. 

NJ TRANSIT is closely engaged with the New Jersey Department of Health and other state and federal resources to carefully monitor, and if need be, respond to emergent health concerns that have the ability to impact customers and employees.

The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) offer the following preventative steps for the coronavirus:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, then wash hands 

For more information, please visit the following websites: New Jersey Department of Health: https://www.nj.gov/health/; the CDC: https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00427.asp.

About NJ TRANSIT

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.