Buses and vans feature UV-powered devices that target airborne viruses

All active VIA Metropolitan Transit vehicles now have an air purification system on board to reduce the spread of airborne viruses and help maintain a safer, healthier environment for its customers and employees. Installation of 562 Active Air Purification Systems was completed in March.

Active Air Purification systems provide continuous air purification, enhancing VIA’s daily cleaning and sanitizing routines. The system uses ultraviolet (UV) technology that creates and disperses low-dose hydrogen peroxide into the air to mitigate airborne pathogens, including COVID-19. The naturally occurring hydroperoxide is safe for passengers and eliminates 99% of germs, microbes, viruses, bacteria in the air and on surfaces, according to the manufacturer.

This technology is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and provides a more routine, Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-recommended cleaning cycle. Similar systems have been used in health care facilities for many years. The device is made by United Safety and Survivability Corporation and requires minimal maintenance, other than replacing the UV bulb approximately once a year.

VIA has long maintained a rigorous, daily cleaning and sanitizing protocol for its vehicles and facilities. The addition of air purification systems aboard vehicles is part of a range of measures used by VIA to create a healthy, safe environment for passengers, operators, and the community.

Since early 2020, VIA implemented additional measures to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. This includes hand-sanitizing stations installed on all vehicles, operator compartment doors, and periodic cleaning of high-touch surfaces for vehicles in the field, among other safeguards. The Active Air Purification system replaces the need for manual cleaning throughout the day.

“VIA continuously researches and implements best practices for the health and safety of our customers and community, including new technology and innovations that help us work smarter for everyone’s well-being,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “As ridership continues to grow and our community keeps moving forward, recommendations and guidelines for public transit users may change but their safety will remain our top priority.”