MTA Press Releases

Press Release
June 26, 2020
IMMEDIATE
MTA Demonstrates More Than a Dozen Sprayers, Upgrading Speed and Safety for Systemwide Disinfecting

All 5,400 in-service Train Cars Getting Cleaned Each Day, Cleaned Over a Million Times Since March

Click Here for Video of Disinfecting Demonstration 

Click Here for Photos of Disinfecting Demonstration

MTA New York City Transit officials today demonstrated the use of 16 spray devices that cleaning crews have deployed in recent months to more rapidly disinfect the transit system, including subways, buses and various employee facilities, while preserving maximum safety standards. NYCT employees and outside contractors have worked round-the-clock to disinfect 5,400 in-service train cars and an additional 5,000 buses throughout the pandemic, cleaning over a million cars since March, incorporating a growing range of devices and cleaning solutions that have made the process increasingly efficient.

The sophistication and speed of the systemwide cleaning has improved over the course of the last nearly four months, with some train cars now cleaned and disinfected as many as seven times a day thanks to the wide range of disinfectant sprays and antimicrobial agents being used. Prior to the onset of the coronavirus, most routine cleaning was done with traditional spray bottles, but since the outbreak began transit leadership has begun incorporating backpack sprayers, garden pump style sprays, and electrostatic guns to expedite the pace of work and increase the amount of cleaning that can get done each day.

"We continue to do absolutely everything in our power to clean and disinfect our rolling stock, stations, and employee facilities," said Interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg. "Our customers should continue to take the necessary safety precautions when riding the with us, but they should also know that the system has never been cleaner. No amount of praise can do justice to how hard our employees and contractors are working. They deserve the utmost respect and gratitude from all New Yorkers."

"My entire team deserves immense credit for scaling our cleaning operations to a level that matches the nature of what we're fighting against," said New York City Transit Chief Mechanical Officer John Santamaria. "We take this work incredibly seriously and won't relent so long as we can improve speed, reliability, and effectiveness. Each time a train car gets to its terminal site, it is cleaned and each night, it's cleaned even more thoroughly. We are experimenting with a wide range of cleaning and disinfecting agents and tools, including electrostatic devices and antimicrobials."

Members of the media were given the opportunity to use some of the electrostatic guns, spray bottles, fogger machines, and backpack style sprays being used by the hundreds of cleaners working 24 hours a day to keep the system as safe as possible during the pandemic. 

The MTA continues to be the leading transportation agency in its unprecedented disinfecting measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, when the first case was found in New York, the agency has distributed 3.8 million masks, 6 million pairs of gloves, 37,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 122,000 hand sanitizer bottles, 125,000 gallons of cleaning solution, 3.5 million sanitizer wipes, and 9,000 face shields to its heroic workforce, created an industry-leading “Temperature Brigade” taking employee temperature at work locations, launched an ultraviolet (UV) light pilot program to kill COVID-19 on subways and buses, implemented rear-door boarding on buses and eliminated cash transactions at stations and 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.