Now that the subway is being closed every night from 1-5 a.m. so it can be thoroughly disinfected, you might be wondering exactly how they’re cleaning.
And it isn’t just with some Lysol wipes.
The MTA put out a press release calling the endeavor the “most aggressive cleaning and disinfecting regimen in MTA history.” It will involve disinfecting all rolling stock (train cars, buses, etc.) as well as poles, seating, floor, ceiling, doors and walls every 24 hours.
Here are their three main strategies:
- Daytime Terminal Car Cleaning: After each train reaches its final destination, crews will remove trash, clean spills and bio hazards, and spot clean seats, floors, and other surfaces. Trains will also be disinfected at terminals during particular hours over the course of the day.
- Overnight Yard Cleaning: Trains in service during daytime hours but out of service at night will receive a more comprehensive cleaning every night in yards. Crews will remove garbage and graffiti, clean spills and bio hazards, mop floors, clean seats cleaning, and disinfect surfaces.
- Overnight Terminal Car Cleaning: Trains that remain in service at night will receive cleaning that is identical to the yard cleaning above, except at terminal stations.
And the cleaning process is also helping to research what kinds of methods will actually eradicate traces of COVID-19 on surfaces.
They are using three “antimicrobial biostats” which are applied after a surface is clean and creates a “protective colorless, odorless barrier on surfaces that does not allow germs to grow.” They are applied with electrostatic sprayers that cover 360-degrees.
They are also experimenting with ultraviolet (UV) light to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 from subway cars, buses, trains, etc. as well as in locations like break rooms and offices. They actually have been working with Columbia University since March to test the efficacy of the UV technology within the subway.
featured image source: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit