MTA Press Releases

Press Release
June 12, 2020
IMMEDIATE
MTA Moves Forward with Ultraviolet Pilot for Disinfecting Full Trains

Full Train Sets Now Part of Pilot Program to Disinfect Using Full Spectrum Ultraviolet Technology; UV Tech Is Proven to Kill COVID-19

Click Here for Video of Ultraviolet Demonstration

Click Here for Photos of Ultraviolet Demonstration

MTA New York City Transit officials today demonstrated how the MTA is piloting the use of Ultraviolet disinfecting technology across entire train sets. The pilot is initially focused on identifying ways to eradicate COVID-19 in rolling stock, including car classes R188, R62, R46, R68, and R160 at Corona, Coney Island, Jamaica and Pelham Maintenance Shops. Rolling out full spectrum Ultraviolet (including germicidal UV-C, UV-B and anti-bacterial UV-A) to pilot on full train sets marks the latest progress in the MTA's historic efforts to clean and disinfect its more than 6,500-car fleet.

"We continue to move full speed ahead with our efforts to explore any and every idea that might help keep our system safe during these challenging times," said Senior Vice President for Subways at New York City Transit, Sally Librera. "Ultraviolet technology is one of many outside-the-box ideas we're pursuing to disinfect the system. I look forward to continuing to expand this pilot and learning more about how ultraviolet technology can best help us moving forward."

Ultraviolet light is an efficient, proven, and effective technology for eliminating viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. 

As part of the proof-of-concept, the MTA requested that Dr. David Brenner, Director, Center for Radiological Research, Columbia University gain access to their containment laboratories at biosafety level three for the purpose of testing the efficacy of miniaturized UV lamps to kill COVID-19. Last month, Dr. Brenner reported the first-ever demonstrated test of ultraviolet that efficiently killed the virus that causes COVID-19.

This pilot is another aggressive step the MTA has taken in its nation-leading disinfecting effort to keep employees and customers safe by disinfecting the entire system every 24 hours. On May 6 the MTA started its historic closing of subway system from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. so that every major touch point in stations and subway cars can be thoroughly disinfected. The MTA also launched an industry-leading “Temperature Brigade” on March 24, taking employee temperatures at work locations, implemented rear-door boarding on buses and eliminated cash transactions at stations and on commuter rails to prevent person-to-person contact to ensure the safety of operating employees. The health and safety of the MTA’s employees and customers continues to be the agency’s top priority.

Since the start of the pandemic in early March, the MTA has distributed 3 million masks, 5.4 million pairs of gloves, 3.1 million sanitizing wipes, 36,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 125,000 hand sanitizer bottles, 116,000 gallons of cleaning solutions, and 8,000 face shields to its heroic frontline employees.