The Edmonton Transit Service recently decided to install new bactericidal seats on 57 of the city’s 94 railcars.
“They have embedded this antimicrobial additive in the plastic itself. It will kill 99.9 percent of the pathogens within two hours,” said Craig McKeown, director of LRT operations and maintenance at the City of Edmonton.
ETS began installing seats on its newer trains from U.S.-based Uniform Color Company in February and recently completed the process.
“This is one of 30 different health and safety measures transit has taken to protect our riders and our staff,” McKeown said.
McKeown said the seats have not been tested separately against COVID-19, but the additive used is effective against bacteria, fungi and viruses.
In addition to the seats, in January ETS launched a pilot project for 10 bactericidal push plates made of compressed salt. The panels were manufactured by Edmonton-based biotechnology company Outbreaker Solutions and installed at multiple doors at selected transit centers and LRT stations.
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Epidemiologist Cynthia Carr said that while the immediate outcome may be difficult to see, the additional health and prevention measures caused by the pandemic are positive.
“Such innovative solutions that add protective layers can be good things, as long as they don’t give the wrong sense of security,” said Carr, founder of EPI Research.
Carr said that even if these were layers of protection, people still need to be vigilant when protecting themselves from COVID-19.
In addition to these new technologies, McKeown said several other safeguards have been put in place.
“Other measures include bus shields. We distributed a million masks to our audience for free. We electrostatically clean and spray all our trains at all of our stations, ”McKeown said.
ETS is looking for the possibility of installing more such places in its transit fleet if possible.
McKeown said the cost of the new seats was more than $ 2 million and came from funding for public transportation infrastructure.
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