NYC Reports on Subway UV-C Use

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New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) oversees the NYC Subways, commuter rails into Long Island and commuter rails into the northern NYC suburbs including Westchester and Fairfield counties.  In May, the MTA started a pilot program to evaluate many different virus-fighting strategies.  

At a recent MTA Board Meeting, MTA Chairman Pat Foye gave updates on the COVID-19 Disinfection Pilot Programs:

Still evaluating the antimicrobial solutions.  Foye stated that it is "somewhat disappointing on the duration issue."  A Newsday report cites an MTA official stating that tests show the solution wearing off in as little as a day.

"Ultraviolet-C light clearly eradicates the COVID-19 virus.  It is probably best used in our system in stations, perhaps by robots.  There are concerns from an operating point of view about the time and cost it would take to do rolling stock, whether it's subway cars or Metro-North or the Long Island Railroad"

The pilot programs with UV-C light involve a portable unit being administered by MTA personnel one train car at a time.  With virtually no time to plan for COVID-19 UV-C strategies, the portable solution was being used.  It's possible that train cars of the future will invest in installed UV-C solutions as a built in feature.

We recently learned from Puro Lighting, a leader in UV Disinfection products, that they are working on “an installed version for transit that will provide automated disinfection.”

Technology is "quite promising."  Purification, ionization, electro-static, etc.

Foye added that other concepts and pilots are being pursued.


A hot-topic news story in the New York Metro Area is the financial health of the MTA.  With huge fixed overhead and ridership revenues tanking, the MTA is expected to make major cuts in the weeks and months ahead.  Below are Chairman Foye's comments on disinfection strategies:

Watch the video:  (should auto-start at 2:55:57)


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November  10, 2020

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