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The MTA Will Disinfect Subways With UV Lights Proven To Kill COVID-19

In the first pilot program of its kind

By Claire Leaden

The MTA Will Disinfect Subways With UV Lights Proven To Kill COVID-19

The MTA has implemented an unprecedented cleaning system to disinfect NYC subways and buses, and now there is some hard proof they will be eradicating COVID-19 germs.

In a press conference this afternoon, May 19, the MTA announced they would be launching the first-ever UVC (Ultraviolet-C, a type of UV light that is safe for humans) pilot program to kill COVID-19 on public transportation.

“That’s big news,” said MTA CEO and chairman Pat Foye. “This pilot will use UV technology to help disinfect our infrastructure beginning next week.”

The MTA has been working with Dr. David J. Brenner, the Director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University, since March to test the efficacy of UV technology within the subway. And now Dr. Brenner has proven (within a laboratory) that UVC does in fact efficiently kill the virus that causes COVID-19.

“To our knowledge,” Foye said, “This is the first reported test of this kind. Period.”

He said the program will be conducted in two phases. First, 150 of the UV lamps will be used over several weeks on subways, buses, stations, and in employee facilities. Then, Phase 2 will involve expanding to the Long Island Railroad and Metro North.

Tech startup PURO Lighting is providing the lamps, which are from a miniaturized “mobile series” so they can be easily used within the subway cars.

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You can see a demonstration of the new technology being used in the below video.

“Again, the good news here is that UV is a proven and effective technology and it is 100% safe to humans after it is applied,” Mr. Foye said.

This news comes after the MTA closed the subways from 1-5am everyday earlier this month so fleets could be disinfected every 24 hours., in “the most aggressive cleaning and disinfecting program in MTA history.”

featured image source: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit